VALENCIA, Spain (Reuters) - Valencia are expecting a counter-attacking team like Real Madrid rather than a possession-hungry side like Barcelona when they host Paris St Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday, coach Ernesto Valverde said.
“PSG are more similar to Madrid than to Barcelona,” Valverde told a news conference on Monday previewing the last 16 first leg at the Mestalla.
“They are a team who have good players up front, who don’t mind sitting back and who attack with speed,” he added.
“Having the ball doesn’t mean that you are dominating them, as they are a dangerous side.”
Valencia will need to play better against big-spending PSG than they have against Real recently if they are to get past the Qatar-backed French side into the quarter-finals.
They were hammered 5-0 at home by the Spanish champions in La Liga last month and were also knocked out of the King’s Cup by Jose Mourinho’s side 3-1 on aggregate.
Against Barca they have had more success, holding the La Liga leaders to a 1-1 draw at the Mestalla this month.
“What we want is to get through this tie, even though they are the favourites, and go into the quarter-finals,” Valverde said.
”We won’t settle for just giving a good show of ourselves. We aren’t here to look good in defeat. We compete to win.
”They are a club who are pushing to become one of the biggest in Europe, but that doesn’t mean anything.
“Over 180 minutes we will see what happens. I don’t care that they are favourites. The key is in the game.”
The second leg is in Paris on March 6.
Writing by Iain Rogers in Madrid, editing by Pritha Sarkar