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Blanc: City squad has more quality than ours

Laurent Blanc has dismissed talk of Paris Saint-Germain receiving a favourable draw against Manchester City, saying "their squad overall has much more quality than ours".

Paris coach Laurent Blanc gets his point across in the pre-match press conference
Paris coach Laurent Blanc gets his point across in the pre-match press conference ©AFP/Getty Images
  • Paris coach Laurent Blanc expects two "difficult and delicate games"
  • Blanc says Manchester City's squad has "more quality than ours"
  • Blanc speaks fondly of his time in Manchester as a United player from 2001 to 2003
  • Manchester City are preparing for their first European Cup quarter-final
  • Joe Hart and Kevin De Bruyne expected to start for City

Possible lineups
Paris: Trapp; Marquinhos, David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Maxwell; Matuidi, Rabiot, Thiago Motta, Di María, Ibrahimović, Cavani.
Out: Pastore (calf), Verratti (groin)
Doubtful: none
Misses next match if booked: Aurier, Ibrahimović, Matuidi, David Luiz, Verratti

City: Hart (Caballero); Sagna, Mangala, Otamendi, Clichy; Fernandinho, Touré, Fernando; De Bruyne, Silva; Aguero.
Out: Sterling (groin), Kompany (calf)
Doubtful: Delph (ankle), Hart (calf), Touré (calf/shin)
Misses next match if booked: Otamendi

Zlatan Ibrahimović training on Tuesday
Zlatan Ibrahimović training on Tuesday©AFP/Getty Images

Laurent Blanc, Paris coach
I have excellent memories of Manchester from when I was playing for Manchester United. We used to drive by the City training ground on the way to ours, but I think it's no longer there.

The city itself has transformed a lot. It used to be very post-industrial, but it has flourished into quite a charming place now. On the sporting front, City are reducing their deficit to United and becoming a great club again – let's not forget they were strong in the 1970s.

They say experience can make the difference in ties such as this and that every detail counts. After the draw, some were relieved and said it was a good one for us as we avoided the two giants, Barcelona and Bayern. I strongly warned my players not to listen to that. Those who say that don't understand anything about football.

We'll be up against a team with quality and quality in depth – their squad overall has much more quality than ours. These will be two difficult and delicate games.

Paris v Manchester City: Who will progress?

Manuel Pellegrini, City manager
It'll be difficult but I believe we have a chance. Paris are a very good team, with a project similar to Manchester City in a sense, trying to grow year by year. Both teams have an opportunity to push on. I don't think there's a clear favourite in this tie.

Joe Hart is expected to shake off his knock
Joe Hart is expected to shake off his knock©AFP/Getty Images

It was important this season for us to win our group for the first time, and then we won in the round of 16 for the first time. We will see what happens against Paris.

Joe Hart has worked without any problem for the last few days and we tested him today. There's always a risk when a player returns from injury, but I don't think there's a problem with him playing.

Zlatan is up to 30 in Ligue 1 this season
Zlatan is up to 30 in Ligue 1 this season©AFP/Getty Images

Weekend results 
Paris 4-1 Nice (Ibrahimović 15 34 83, Luiz 48; Ben Arfa 18)
Zlatan Ibrahimović warmed up for Wednesday with his first home hat-trick of the season. Paris now hold a 25-point lead over second-placed Monaco (the record is 17) and Ibrahimović, on 30 league goals, has twice as many as anyone else in the division this term.

Bournemouth 0-4 City (Fernando 7, De Bruyne 12, Agüero 19, Kolarov 90+3)
City returned to form and remain in the Premier League's top four after a quick start against a team they had last visited 16 years ago in England's third tier. Fernando opened his goal account for the campaign and, back from injury, Kevin De Bruyne volleyed in his first goal since 26 December.

Kevin De Bruyne: back in style
Kevin De Bruyne: back in style©Getty Images

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)

Reporter's view: Chris Burke (@UEFAcomChrisB)
Paris go into their fourth consecutive quarter-final quietly confident of taking the next step for the first time in 21 years, especially after getting the better of City's Premier League rivals Chelsea in the last round. Enjoying prolific form, evergreen forward Ibrahimović showed his hunger in that tie, but the French side will need to beware world-class predator Sergio Agüero and the dynamic input of fit-again De Bruyne – even if City do have key men missing.

Did you know?
Paris lost to Barcelona at this stage in 2013 and 2015 and against Chelsea in 2014. This is City's first European Cup quarter-final. Read more in our match background.

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