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Substance over style as PSG await Dinamo

Carlo Ancelotti feels Paris Saint-Germain FC "haven't played outstanding football so far this season" but hopes to grind out another Group A win against GNK Dinamo Zagreb.

Carlo Ancelotti has yet to be blown away by his PSG side
Carlo Ancelotti has yet to be blown away by his PSG side ©AFP/Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti is not particularly enamoured of the football that his Paris Saint-Germain FC side have played this season, but the Italian is happy to put results first as GNK Dinamo Zagreb come calling in UEFA Champions League Group A. The Croatian champions have yet to collect a point or score a goal in the section, but their coach Ante Čačić maintained that his side had not come to Paris just to see the sights.

Carlo Ancelotti, coach

We haven't played outstanding football so far this season, but we have played very well at times. We reached some kind of balance, and that's where the results come from. What's important now is to display more continuity. We have won nine out of our 12 fixtures so the results are here, even if the quality of our football isn't incredible.

Dinamo deserve to be playing this competition. Dinamo came through the qualifying rounds, so they deserve respect, and if they haven't scored yet, we can only hope this will continue against us. PSG's goal is to qualify for the next round. We could still win the group – we'll see how things stand after this game.

Weekend result
PSG: 1-2 AS Saint-Étienne (Hoarau 88; Sakho og 55, Aubameyang 73)

Sirigu; Van der Wiel, Sakho, Silva, Maxwell, Chantôme (Sissoko 67), Verratti (Hoarau 59), Pastore, Matuidi (Bodmer 30), Menez, Ibrahimović.

• Zlatan Ibrahimović was sent off 20 minutes from time on Saturday as PSG suffered their first home league defeat since Carlo Ancelotti's appointment at the end of 2011.

Team news
Ancelotti declared Ezequiel Lavezzi and Blaise Matuidi (both thigh) to be fit but was resigned to being without Clément Chantôme. Nenê (broken cheekbone), Thiago Motta (back) and Diego Lugano (knee) are all on the treatment table.

Ante Čačić, coach
We are obviously not the favorites, but we haven't come here as tourists – we will give our all, and since this is football, anything's possible. I think we have learned from our loss in Zagreb. We talked a lot to the players, and we'll do everything to avoid receiving a drubbing. If we play together, we can get a good result. PSG may start really strong to try to kill off the game as quickly as possible, so their players can rest after that, but if we can keep it at 0-0 for a while, we can put doubt in their minds. If we manage to keep possession, then anything's possible.

PSG are a great team who play in a big league and have played plenty of European matches. They have a lot more experience than us, but winning here is not impossible, as we are extremely motivated. Our problem is that it's impossible for us to prepare for European competitions. We are so dominant in the Croatian league that no team dares to attack against us, so we have to be concentrate even harder when we are facing a team like PSG.

Weekend result
Friday: Dinamo 3-1 NK Istra 1961 (Vida 19 56, Sammir 23; Roce 34)
Kelava; Vrsaljko, Vida, Šimunić, Pivarić; Ademi, Kovačić, Čop (Calello 76), Sammir (Brozović 46), Rukavina (Puljić 63); Beqiraj.

• Domagoj Vida struck twice against Istra, doubling his league goals tally for the season. After 11 appearances he has already equalled his best return for a campaign, set with NK Osijek in 2009/10. Sammir was also on target with his 11th goal in 12 league outings, already his best return in what is his seventh season at Dinamo.

Team news
Ivan Tomečak remains sidelined because of a problem with his pubic bone, while Ivan Krstanović, Ivan Tomečak and Ivan Peko have all stayed in Zagreb due to minor injuries. Sammir is doubtful because of a hamstring problem.

Match fact
Ibrahimović's mother was born in Croatia and the striker returned to her home country, and Dinamo's Stadion Maksimir, to score from the penalty spot and create another goal in Sweden's 3-1 friendly victory on 2 February this year.