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Paris and Olympiacos seek progress

Both Paris Saint-Germain and Olympiacos FC could be through from Group C after they meet in the French capital but Laurent Blanc and Míchel are taking nothing for granted.

Paris Saint-Germain limber up on Tuesday
Paris Saint-Germain limber up on Tuesday ©AFP/Getty Images

Both Paris Saint-Germain and Olympiacos FC could be through from UEFA Champions League Group C after they meet in the French capital on Wednesday night.

Paris are three points clear of their second-placed opponents but coach Laurent Blanc is wary of the nerves that led to a surprise home draw with RSC Anderlecht three weeks ago. Míchel has primed Olympiacos for "the hardest game of the year".

• Paris require only a draw at home to Olympiacos, the team they defeated 4-1 in Piraeus on matchday one, to qualify as group winners, and would progress regardless if SL Benfica are unable to beat Anderlecht. Olympiacos are through with a victory and a point would also suffice for them to advance as runners-up should Benfica fail to win at Anderlecht.

Laurent Blanc, coach
I don't know if Olympiacos will play like they did in their home match against us, with a high defensive line and a lot of pressure on our midfielders – I doubt it. That caused us some problems, but whether they do or they don't, we still have to be better in technical terms. We have to expect teams to use those tactics, but it could be to our advantage as playing that way leaves some space at the back.

We need to stop conceding so many goals. We always score some – well, almost always – but we need to be more solid in defence.

Nerves? There's always nerves. It's part of the job, starting with the stress we put on ourselves. We know what we have to do. We have been on a good run so far, but we haven't earned our qualification yet. I said that before the match against Anderlecht, and people made fun of me saying I was always nervous, but the result unfortunately proved me right.

Weekend result
Saturday: Stade de Reims 0-3 Paris (Lucas 24, Ménez 60, Ibrahimović 90)
Sirigu; Jallet, Alex, Thiago Silva, Digne; Rabiot (Matuidi 73), Thiago Motta (Pastore 88), Verratti; Lucas, Ibrahimović, Ménez (Lavezzi 72).

• Reims coach Hubert Fournier called Paris "the French Barça" after Saturday's triumph, with Blanc starting without Ezequiel Lavezzi and Blaise Matuidi and giving Maxwell and Gregory van der Wiel a day off. They are now unbeaten in 34 games in all competitions over the last 267 days.

Team news
Edinson Cavani was rested at the weekend after returning from international duty on Friday night, with Blanc explaining: "You have to be careful with jet lag, for him as well as our other South American players." The forward is available to face Olympiacos, however.

Míchel, coach
Like PSG, we play well when we're on the ball, as we showed during the match at home. We had most of the possession in the first half and we dominated, then Paris got most of the ball and that's when they turned the game around. All the great teams like to have the ball, us included, so it'll be one of the decisive factors tomorrow.

Tomorrow's match will the hardest game of the year – given the quality of our opponents, it'll be hard to win. But on the other hand, it's potentially a decisive match, because we would qualify should we win it. So you'll understand how important it is for us, and how motivated we are to get a good result.

I could field [defenders José] Holebas and [Gaëtan] Bong together, but I haven't made up my mind. Actually, this was my initial preference but now I’m moving away from this option. But as you know, coaches sometimes play tricks during press conferences – I may be playing a dummy, like back in my playing days!

Weekend result
Saturday: Panthrakikos FC 1-4 Olympiacos (Igor 42; Manolas 21, Campbell 53, Samaris 58, Saviola 88)
Roberto; Papazoglou, Manolas (Torres 75), Papadopoulos, Bong; N'Dinga, Samaris; Weiss (Machado 62), Domínguez (Campbell 46), Fuster; Saviola.

• Victory on Saturday allowed the current vintage to match the best-ever start to a Greek season (W11 D1) made by Olympiacos's class of 1966/67. By remaining unbeaten for a 28th consecutive Super League game, they are also closing in on their own Greek record of 29 set between 1972 and 1974.

Team news
Dimitris Siovas (knee) is expected to be fit for Paris, while Vladimír Weiss, Delvin N'Dinga and Paulo Machado are already back in action. Kostas Mitroglou, Giannis Maniatis and Holebas were rested at the weekend.

Match fact
• Their 17 September meeting was the first between the sides and also the first time Paris had tackled a Greek team in the UEFA Champions League. They are unbeaten in all eight contests against opponents from Greece, winning seven and drawing one.