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Mendy dares to dream

Published: Wednesday 24 November 2004, 10.00CET
Bernard Mendy is hoping Paris Saint-Germain FC can pull off an shock result at Chelsea FC. features

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Published: Wednesday 24 November 2004, 10.00CET

Mendy dares to dream

Bernard Mendy is hoping Paris Saint-Germain FC can pull off an shock result at Chelsea FC.
By Ben Lyttleton

After picking up four points from their two games against European champions FC Porto, Paris Saint-Germain FC have a chance of qualifying from UEFA Champions League Group H. Those results also kick-started their disappointing domestic campaign, which is why defender Bernard Mendy claims PSG are a different proposition from the side that capitulated to a 3-0 home defeat by Chelsea FC on Matchday 1.

'Back on track'
"We're back on track now," the France full-back told "Our results against Porto have put us back in the running. There's even a few regrets because we could have won away to Porto because we had some good chances near the end of the match."

Chelsea challenge
The goalless draw at Porto's Estádio do Dragão moved PSG into second place in their group and they are now confident that they can end Chelsea's 100 per cent record in the competition so far. "We're going to go to Chelsea to get a result," said Mendy. "We have to believe in our chances. They have already qualified and I have a feeling we can pull something off."

Robben threat
Chelsea let slip a two-goal lead before drawing with Mendy's former club Bolton Wanderers FC at the weekend. But once again one of Chelsea's star performers was winger Arjen Robben, of whose talents Mendy is all too aware. "Robben is an excellent player, anyone can see that," he said.

Defensive readjustments
"He has scored a lot of goals lately, is fast and can run at players - that makes him a tricky opponent," he added. "But even though we were conceding too many goals that could be avoided, we kept a clean sheet against [French champions Olympique Lyonnais] last week despite being down to ten men, so I think our defence is better able to cope. We are getting better. What is good is that [centre-back] Mario Yepes has now really fitted in and he's doing a lot of talking on the pitch alongside José Pierre-Fanfan. Those two are the bosses."

Marking role
Mendy would normally be charged with keeping Robben quiet down the left wing. The way he snuffed out the threat of Roberto Carlos in the same position while making his France debut earlier this year could have suggested that the Dutchman may have a tough night - but Mendy had a spell out through injury and has lost his place at right-back to Stéphane Pichot.

Midfield cover
It means that Mendy will line up at Stamford Bridge on the right side of midfield, from where he scored a last-gasp winner in a thrilling French League Cup win against Olympique Marseille earlier this month. "It's good, as I can play all over the place," he said. "But my real position is right-back - even if for the good of the team I can play further upfield. The coach thinks that I am perhaps better playing further forward."

Final game
Coach Vahid Halihodzic is also optimistic of getting a result in west London. "Chelsea have already reached the next round which puts us in a good position against them," he said. "We are in high spirits because we controlled the away game against Porto and we had some good scoring chances. At the end, the referee blew the whistle whilst one of our payers was heading for the goal. But our chances of qualification will probably depend on our final game at home to [PFC CSKA] Moskva."

Last updated: 24/11/04 12.11CET

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