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Preview: Ajax v Paris

Walking around the Amsterdam ArenA, Laurent Blanc said the sense of AFC Ajax's history was intoxicating and admits Paris Saint-Germain have to realise their potential.

Laurent Blanc addresses the media in Amsterdam
Laurent Blanc addresses the media in Amsterdam ©AFP/Getty Images

Ajax coach Frank de Boer thinks Wednesday's visitors Paris can reach the final
Ajax have lost two of their first five Eredivisie games of the new season
Laurent Blanc in awe of the rich history of Ajax, a "mythical club"
David Luiz faces a late fitness test on a knee injury suffered on duty with Brazil
Gregory van der Wiel and Zlatan Ibrahimović returning to their former club

Possible lineups
Ajax: Cillessen; Boilesen, Moisander, Veltman, Van Rhijn; Zimling, Viergever, Klaassen; Schöne, Sigthórsson, El Ghazi.
Out: Viktor Fischer (hamstring), Riechedly Bazoer (groin)

Paris: Sirigu; Van der Wiel, Camara/Luiz, Marquinhos, Maxwell; Thiago Motta, Verratti, Pastore; Lucas, Cavani, Ibrahimović.
Out: Thiago Silva (thigh)
Doubtful: David Luiz (knee), Serge Aurier (concussion)

Frank de Boer, Ajax coach
We are in a tough group – it seems we have drawn two of the strongest teams, but we showed last season we can get points against these sides. You need to enjoy these matches and try to surprise the big teams.

I think we can and should be playing better. I've seen good things so I'm not too worried, but if you have a bad spell against big teams it will be difficult. However, we shouldn't just look at the negatives as I'd rather look forwards than backwards. For now we only talk about surviving the winter in the Champions League and not yet about winning it.

Often experience makes the difference. Some of the players who had the experience last year have left for bigger leagues – that is what happens at Ajax, so it's hard to take that step up. We hope it will happen in the future.

I think you should respect every opponent but you shouldn't be afraid of them. We always try to look where we can take advantage. They have more quality and experience at the moment, but that doesn't mean they necessarily have to win. Saying that, I think they're very close to taking the final step in the Champions League – they have cover in every position. They may not have the experience of reaching a final but I think they are at that level in terms of quality.

Laurent Blanc, Paris coach
When you walk into this stadium and walk the corridors you understand the history of this mythical club. In my mind I have images of 'Total Football'. If you look at the coaches and players who have worked here you get an idea of how big the club is.

At European level PSG have gained more recent recognition, for the players we've signed and the results we have secured. It is one thing to be among the favourites but it's another thing to make it happen. I hope the words of Frank de Boer will become reality but i think it will be tougher than that.

Our only goal is to go as far as possible. At the start of the competition you can always say that your goal is to win it, but the problem is that so many clubs say they want to win there's almost no sense saying it. The most important thing is just to get through the group stage.

Gregory van der Wiel has told us a few things about Ajax and their players. He was part of the club from when he was a boy and he knows them inside-out. But we have also watched a lot of tapes. I think El Ghazi is a good player. We will have to be careful.

Weekend results
Ajax 2-1 Heracles Almelo (Milik 3 45+1; Wout Weghorst 86)
Stade Rennais FC 1-1 Paris (Paul-Georges Ntep 55; Camara 43)

Form guide (all competitions)

Match facts
• How many Eredivisie goals did Zlatan Ibrahimović score for Ajax in 74 league appearances? Find out in our extensive match background.

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