Champions League news

PSG's Ancelotti ready for Porto challenge

October 3, 2012
By Fabien Perrin, France Correspondent

PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti claims Porto is ''a good test'' for his side after a run of five successive victories over the past month.

Carlo Ancelotti PSG presser
PA PhotosCarlo Ancelotti says the future for PSG is very bright

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Lille, Toulouse, Dynamo Kiev, Bastia and Sochaux have all fallen victim to Les Parisiens' recent form but the reigning Portuguese champions should provide a much sterner test of their European ambitions.

With a visit to Ligue 1 leaders Marseille coming up on Sunday, it is a crunch week for PSG, and Ancelotti is ready for a tough match at the Estadio do Dragao against a Porto side who have not appeared to show any ill-effects from the departure of Hulk to Zenit St Petersburg.

"Porto are the stronger team, they have more experience in this competition. For us it is a very good test of our confidence," he said.

''I don't think they are weaker without Hulk, they're just playing differently and they have their own identity. With Thiago Silva our defence has improved considerably.

"We have a good atmosphere in the changing room and this is the perfect time to play Porto. They have a good defence and a good attack, but it all depends on how the match pans out. It will be great if we win."

Defender Thiago Silva's first experience of European football was with Porto, although he did not play a single minute for them after arriving at the then-Champions League winners from Juventude, and he heads into his first match at the Dragao full of expectation.

"It will be very interesting," the Brazil international said. "Porto are very attacking but we won't only defend.

"Playing with an 'Italian style' is not necessarily a bad thing. Italy won the 2006 World Cup that way and they have plenty more titles. It is just a different way of approaching a match.

''I spent few months here [in Porto] without wearing that jersey, but it remains special to me. Porto are the favourites, especially at home in front of their fans. But it doesn't prevent us looking for a win. Personally, I'm getting close to my best physical condition after being injured during Olympics."

PSG met Porto on their last Champions League adventure in 2004-05, winning 2-0 at the Parc des Princes and drawing 0-0 in Portugal on their way to finishing bottom of their group.