Paris (AFP) – Swiss champions Basel have a respectable record in Europe in recent seasons and fancy their chances of springing a surprise when they face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday.
“We have not come to Paris to take selfies,” warned Basel’s Ivory Coast midfielder Geoffroy Serey Die ahead of the game at the Parc des Princes.
“Whether Paris are in form or not doesn’t matter to us, we have come here to get a result.
“We know Paris are a very good team. Their strength is when they have the ball. We are ready for battle.”
Urs Fischer’s Basel have picked up just one point from their opening two Group A games after losing 2-0 away to Arsenal in their last outing but they have claimed famous wins against the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea in recent seasons.
They also arrive in France as an utterly dominant force in Swiss football, with a 14-point lead at the top of the table just 11 games into the season.
Such domestic dominance is something PSG have enjoyed in recent times, but less so this season.
Under Unai Emery they are still trying to find their feet, although they have won their last three games and in Edinson Cavani they have the in-form striker in Europe just now.
Cavani has scored 16 goals for club and country this season, including three in the Champions League in two games and what proved to be the winner at Nancy in Ligue 1 at the weekend.
He will lead the Paris attack but Italian midfielder Thiago Motta is set to miss the game with a buttock muscle problem as Paris look to keep up with Arsenal in the fight for top spot in the section. Both sides have four points from two outings.
“The first goal is qualification. But if we can have first place as the icing on the cake that’d be good,” midfielder Blaise Matuidi said.
“For that we need a win tomorrow (Wednesday) and to see what happens after. The game against Basel will be difficult, but we’re prepared. We expect a difficult game, but that’s how it is in the Champions League.”
Coach Emery added: “This is an important match. We want to stay in first place. We are playing in front of our fans and so it is important to win and play well.”
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