Paris (AFP) – Toulouse coach Pascal Dupraz knows his team have reasons to be fearful this weekend as they travel to face a Paris Saint-Germain side fresh from a crushing win over Barcelona.
PSG stunned Lionel Messi and co and sent a clear signal of intent to the rest of Europe by winning their Champions League last 16, first leg 4-0 at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday.
The result has been celebrated in France as one of the greatest ever European performances by a French club and Toulouse could be forgiven for thinking now is not the time to face Unai Emery’s side.
“I think Barcelona have a budget of 700 million euros ($746m, £598m) while ours is 35 million,” observed Dupraz.
“That is 20 times greater so four times 20 is 80. So if we lose 79-0 logically speaking we are doing better than Barca. But if we lose 79-0 we are going to look like idiots.”
Mid-table Toulouse have been in good form in recent weeks and beat PSG 2-0 at home in September, but the capital club’s performance against Barcelona was far from a one-off.
They may come into the weekend in second place, three points behind leaders Monaco, but they have won 11 and drawn one of their last 12 matches and scored 38 goals in that time.
“I am not going to go to Paris, get there and say ‘oh la la’. We will definitely get off the bus. But even before their exceptional performance we knew it was going to be complicated,” added Dupraz.
PSG are waiting on the fitness of skipper Thiago Silva, who did not play against Barcelona due to an apparent calf problem.
Emery may also choose to rotate his squad but cannot afford to take the game lightly as Monaco have themselves been in superb form and show no signs of letting up.
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Leonardo Jardim’s side travel to Corsica to face struggling Bastia on Friday as they look to continue their own unbeaten start to 2017.
The principality club know they need to negotiate this fixture against a Bastia side in the relegation zone before they turn their thoughts to next week’s Champions League trip to Manchester City.
“The best preparation for the Champions League is to win so the most important thing just now is to concentrate on the league,” said Jardim.