No ‘favourite’ for Valencia clash: Ancelotti
VALENCIA, Spain (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti on Monday played down claims from Valencia boss Ernesto Valverde that the Ligue 1 leaders were the favourites for Tuesday’s last 16 Champions League tie in Spain.
“I don’t think there will be a favourite,” said the Italian, who has won the Champions League four times, twice as a player and twice as a coach all with AC Milan.
“It will be a very open match. Valencia are a very well organised team with very good players (and
both) teams are going through a good patch.”
Tuesday’s fixture will mark the first competitive meeting between the two sides and represent PSG’s return to the competition’s knockout stage after an 18-year hiatus.
“The Champions League, they are special matches for everyone, especially when they are knockout fixtures,” said Ancelotti.
“There is a lot of pressure but the team must show character and personality to play a match like this.
“We did that very well against Porto at a very difficult period (for us). Here, things are very different. There is less pressure and more confidence, but I hope it will be the same outcome,” added the Italian.
Valencia boast an impressive record of 13 wins and just one defeat in 18 outings – a 2-1 loss to Nantes in the 1980 Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final – against French opposition and PSG will be without central defender Thiago Silva as well as Italy midfielder Thiago Motta.