PA Sport

PSG out to impress against Basle - Unai Emery

PSG out to impress against Basle - Unai Emery
By PA Sport

18/10/2016 at 19:14

Paris St Germain coach Unai Emery is hoping his side can find top gear at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday night in their first ever meeting with Champions League rivals Basle.

PSG have won five of their last six matches in all competitions and are level on points with Group A leaders Arsenal after drawing with the Londoners in their opening Champions League game and winning 3-1 in Bulgaria against Ludogorets.

Emery's side are big favourites against Swiss champions Basle, but trail Ligue 1 leaders Nice by four points after defeats to Monaco and Toulouse this season and have yet to hit top form on a consistent basis.

"The Champions League is the best competition in the world for clubs and every team in it deserves their place," Emery, who guided previous club Sevilla to three straight Europa League wins, told

"The players expect a tough match, but we'll try to play with our usual personality and motivation.

"We want to win but also to perform well, with intensity and quality, although Basle will be motivated too.

"We have some players who aren't at their best, but's it's just a matter of confidence."

Striker Edinson Cavani is not one of those players. The Uruguay international has risen to the challenge of filling the void left by Zlatan Ibrahimovic by firing 12 goals in 10 appearances this season.

Winger Javier Pastore (calf) is out and midfielder Thiago Motta remains doubtful after missing Saturday's win at Nancy with a gluteal problem.

But the likes of Maxwell, Serge Aurier, Layvin Kurzawa and Angel Di Maria all trained on Monday and could return to contention. Grzegorz Krychowiak will start if Motta fails to make it.

Basle face a huge task if they are to upset the odds as PSG have lost only once, to Barcelona in 2015, in 41 home European cup ties since the 2006-07 season.

Urs Fischer's side, who will be without Manuel Akanji while fellow defender Adama Traore and forward Andraz Sporar are doubtful, are runaway leaders in the Swiss League and drew 1-1 at home against Ludogorets in their opening Group A game before losing 2-0 at Arsenal last month.

Basle have won seven out of eight games on their travels this season, but Fischer knows this is a step up and was in no mood for sight-seeing on his club's first trip to Paris.

"Paris aren't at the level of Sevilla yet, but you can see the stamp of their coach," he said.

"They need time, but they play at a very high level and it will be a very difficult task. We'll need a lot of courage and conviction.

"I was asked earlier if we'd made a trip to the Eiffel Tower. Of course not! We want to continue in Europe, but talking about it doesn't matter - we have to translate that to the pitch."