Paris St Germain manager Laurent Blanc says Manchester City pose a real threat to his side’s chances.
PSG manager Laurent Blanc says Kevin de Bruyne can make the difference for Manchester City in the big Champions League showdown in Paris.
The home side are favourites to progress – but Blanc insists City possess plenty of quality and says he expects a two tough matches to see who qualifies for the Champions League semi-finals.
“People have said this is an easy draw for us,” he said. “I have the impression that people think it’s an easy draw. But I have seen so much of it that I gave them a speech yesterday saying, ‘Don’t listen to them, do not believe it, they know nothing about football’.”
And Blanc highlighted the return to fitness of De Bruyne as a threat to his side.
The Belgian played for almost an hour at Bournemouth on Saturday – his first appearance since injuring his knee in a game against Everton in late January.
Blanc says he is multi-talented player who can provide the key moments that unlock a defence.
“De Bruyne is a quality player, we’re well aware of that,” he said. “He can play in different positions, he’s an attacking player who provides assists.
“He’s back from injury now, he was injured for quite a while, we’ll need to pay attention to him and Aguero.
“They have players who can make the difference in any moment and De Bruyne is one of them.”
Although most observers give PSG the edge, Blanc is refusing to take City lightly.
“They have a great project there too, they have some great quality players on the pitch, it’s similar to Paris, they have great players in every line,” he said.
“They have a quality team with individual players who can make the difference.
“We’re preparing ourselves for two very difficult games.
“I don’t really care who are the favourites. You can write about that, you can decide on that but both teams stand a good chance. It’s only one day before the game and the only thing out of your mouth is that we could be eliminated.
“That’s typical of the French press.”
Meanwhile, Blanc confirmed former Manchester United winger Angel Di Maria is fit to play – but admitted Marco Verratti and Javier Pastore were both out.
“Di Maria – he’s fit,” Blanc said. “I cannot say more than that.
“He had a blow on his leg. We do not take any risks with him. He will practice. But 100 per cent he is fit.
“Marco Veratti or Javier Pastore – they are injured.”