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Ancelotti has dig at Bayern on return to Paris with Napoli

Paris (AFP) – Carlo Ancelotti had a dig at his old club Bayern Munich as he prepared to lead Napoli into their vital Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

The Italian is returning to the Parc des Princes for the first time since his Bayern side were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by PSG in the group stage of last season’s Champions League.

That result led to Ancelotti being sacked by the German giants, and he returned to the game this summer with Napoli.

The 59-year-old, who is also a former PSG coach, pointed out that Paris have undergone changes since then with Thomas Tuchel replacing Unai Emery in the Parc des Princes dugout.

But he added that “Bayern have not changed because I think the problems they had a year ago are still there, from what I hear.”

“My state of mind has changed a lot because last season I felt I only had the confidence of four or five players,” he added.

“Today I feel the confidence of the players, but confidence also comes from the context and I think that changes a lot of things.”

Ancelotti has overseen a fine start to the season at Napoli, who are second in Serie A behind Juventus and top of Champions League Group C after beating Liverpool earlier this month.

In a very tight group, Wednesday’s game could prove crucial to both sides’ chances of progressing, with Jurgen Klopp’s men playing Red Star Belgrade at the same time.

Ancelotti spent 18 months as coach of PSG, leading the club to the league title in 2013, the first of the Qatar era in Paris.

Despite his love of the Parisian lifestyle, he promptly left for Real Madrid, but he looks back fondly on his time at the club.

“I have very good memories of the time I spent here. It was a very good moment for me to improve my experience and my knowledge of football.”

– ‘Goals will come’ for Cavani –

PSG coach Tuchel was an adversary of Ancelotti’s in the Bundesliga, coming up against Bayern as coach of Borussia Dortmund, and he is a great admirer of the Italian.

“I used to watch him on television playing for Milan. He was a great player in an extraordinary team,” Tuchel told reporters.

“You could see from watching him on TV that he was special and it has been a real inspiration to watch his teams.”

Tuchel has had an impressive start as PSG coach, with his team shattering French records by winning their first 10 Ligue 1 games.

Their only defeat so far this season came at Liverpool last month, though, and Tuchel knows he will be judged in the Champions League.

“A lot of things have changed in our game, our style, since Liverpool,” said Tuchel.

“Nobody likes losing but for us it was a very important experience because we needed to improve.

“There is lots of intensity now in our game, more of a structure, more forward passes, and we must continue like that.”

Tuchel insists that PSG still have to make up for a lack of experience in Europe, although the club are competing in the Champions League for the seventh season in succession.

They will be without injured captain Thiago Silva on Wednesday, however, while there are concerns about the recent form of striker Edinson Cavani, who has looked off the mark in front of goal of late.

“I think he’s thinking a bit too much about that at the moment. The goal will come, tomorrow is a special game for him and I hope he scores,” said Tuchel.

Cavani joined PSG from Napoli in 2013 having been idolised by supporters of the Italian outfit in a prolific three years there.

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