Champions League news

Ancelotti confident of progressing

March 6, 2013
By ESPN staff

Paris Saint-Germain manager Carlo Ancelotti said he is confident his squad can grab the "great opportunity" of progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League when they face Valencia on Wednesday.

Ancelotti's men will start the game in Paris with two precious away goals after surviving the hostile environment of the Mestalla to grab a 2-1 win in the first leg.

And with PSG still leading Ligue 1, despite the recent shock defeat to lowly Reims, and still involved in the French Cup, Ancelotti said his squad was approaching the match with a positive frame of mind.

"We are still in contention in several competitions, and I am confident," Ancelotti told reporters. "I think Valencia will play their usual game, although I expect them to threaten on the counterattack a little more than normal. We are going to play our own game and use our own qualities.

"I think we have got a great opportunity to get into the quarter-finals."

But the 53-year-old said his players needed to remain focused in light of their advantage if they are to "take control of this match."

And a cornerstone to that success could be the calming influence of the returning Thiago Silva.

The defender has been out with a thigh injury since January, and despite admitting he was nervous making his comeback, the 28-year-old remained defiant he was ready to face Valencia.

"It's definitely hard to come back and straight into a match of this quality," Thiago told the club's website psg.fr." But I have prepared very well and I'm ready to step up the challenge.

"It's never easy being on the sidelines, but I focused on my recovery to be on top form to take on rivals of this standard.

"I hope I can bring a little confidence to the backline. I have also suffered defeats, but the Champions League demands 100 per cent concentration, which isn't always the case. This competition brings out the best in us and the team is ready for the challenge."

But despite welcoming Thiago back, Ancelotti will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti through suspension, while Jeremy Menez is out injured.

Former Manchester United player David Beckham has been included in the squad and "could play".