Blanc: PSG still playing catch-up in Europe

Laurent Blanc insists that Paris Saint-Germain are not UEFA Champions League favourites and feels his team are playing catch-up in Europe.

The big-spending Ligue 1 champions are heavily tipped to go all the way in the competition this season and did their hopes no harm with a 4-0 demolition of Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of their last 16 tie.

PSG have invested heavily in their squad in recent years, with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Thiago Silva all being lured to the Parc des Princes.

Having lifted the French title last season, PSG look on course to defend it, having opened up an eight-point gap to second-placed Monaco.

But Blanc believes it is still too soon for PSG to carry their domestic dominance into Europe's premier club competition.

On whether his sides are Champions League favourites, Blanc said ahead of Wednesday's second leg with Leverkusen: "I leave that to the observers. We will try to go as far as possible.

"There are clubs with more experience in the Champions League than Paris Saint-Germain, who are a step ahead on the club. We have to catch up. It won't be easy, we know."

Despite taking a four-goal cushion back to Parc des Princes, Blanc is refusing to let his side rest on their laurels.

"We prepare all matches to win, and it's the same for this game against Leverkusen," he added. "It's a match to win. We must take this game seriously."

Blanc confirmed that full-back Gregory van der Wiel will miss out with a knee injury, while midfield duo Marco Verratti and Blaise Matuidi will not feature. 


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