Preview: APOEL v Paris

Giorgos Donis has called on his APOEL FC players to "show our strength at home" against a Paris Saint-Germain side buoyed by the likely return of captain Thiago Silva.

Laurent Blanc addresses his Paris players during training on Monday
Laurent Blanc addresses his Paris players during training on Monday ©AFP/Getty Images

Paris captain Thiago Silva set to make first appearance since mid-August
Zlatan Ibrahimović still unavailable because of a heel injury
APOEL coach Giorgos Donis says his team "can and will compete"
Donis has a number of injury concerns for visit of Paris
Ligue 1 title holders unbeaten in all competitions this season

Possible lineups
APOEL: Pardo; Antoniades, Carlão, João Guilherme, Mário Sérgio; Vinicius, Nuno Morais; Manduca, Tiago Gomes, Charalambides; Sheridan.
Out: Aloneftis (back), Papazoglou (stomach), Kissas (unspecified)
Doubtful: De Vincenti (thigh), Riise (match fitness), Sotiriou (calf)

Paris: Sirigu; Van der Wiel, David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Maxwell; Matuidi, Verratti, Motta; Lucas, Cavani, Pastore.
Out: Lavezzi (thigh), Marquinhos (thigh), Ibrahimović (heel)

Giorgos Donis, APOEL coach
We have a massive game against an impressive side who are looking to win this competition. They have a wealth of quality individual players in a big squad. As for us, our aim is to be competitive in every game and to get as many points as we can. I believe that at home, although we respect our opponents, we need to show our strength.

We head into this game in the same manner as our previous two games in this competition. For us, every game is crucial and we aim to do our utmost on the pitch. Even in Barcelona, we were still in it right up until the end, while against Ajax we could have won. I don't expect this game to be any different – we can compete against them and I believe we will.

We are not happy with the amount of points we have amassed so far because we feel we should have got three against Ajax. But then again, we need to remember that we got what I feel was the toughest draw. I believe we and Ajax will have a very tough job against Paris and Barcelona, so our plan is to be competing for third place right until the final matchday.

Laurent Blanc, Paris coach
Thiago Silva is a player with great quality who is returning from injury. He is also the captain, and his work rate means his return is very positive for us. He has impressed us in training, especially in terms of his stamina, which is important.

The Champions League is important for us – we want to compete in it and to win it. APOEL are used to playing in Europe and they have quality players. We have seen their recent games in the Champions League – they looked very strong against Ajax, so we must be focused and ready for a tough game.

APOEL held Ajax on matchday two
APOEL held Ajax on matchday two©AFP/Getty Images

We will try to play our own game. We know that they are very disciplined and are dangerous on the counterattack, as we saw against Barcelona and Ajax. They maintain their shape well. They don't have too much of the ball, but they are dangerous when they do. APOEL are the top team in Cyprus and so it looks like they monopolise possession there, but in Europe they have to play counterattacking football. They have a tall striker [Cillian Sheridan] up front who they always look out for and who makes them dangerous from set pieces.

Weekend results
APOEL did not have a weekend game
RC Lens 1-3 Paris (Coulibaly 10; Cabaye 28, Maxwell 33, Cavani 55pen)

Form guide (all competitions)
APOEL: WDDWWL
Paris: WDWDWD

Match facts
• Which goalkeeper saved a penalty for Paris the last time these sides met? Find out in our extensive match background.

Top