PARIS (Reuters) – With Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich looking below par this season, Paris St Germain could be forgiven for believing they have a better chance of winning the Champions League – but coach Thomas Tuchel refuses to be drawn into the debate.
“It is only November. No team has ever won the Champions League in November,” the German told a news conference on Tuesday on the eve of their Group A game against Club Brugge.“Real Madrid have done a lot in the Champions League, but they have never won it in November or December.”
PSG will qualify for the last 16 if they win at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday, but the side will only be judged by their ability to progress in the knockout stages, having failed to reach the last eight in the last three seasons.
Tuchel welcomes back holding midfielder Marco Verratti, who was out injured when PSG suffered their third league defeat of the season against lowly Dijon.
In the Champions League, however, PSG have won their first three games against Real Madrid, Galatasaray and Club Brugge, scoring nine goals and conceding none.
“Let’s just take it game by game. Tomorrow we play Brugge and we will only focus on that for now,” said midfielder Idrissa Gueye.
“We’re also focused on the league, but it is true that the Champions League being such a big competition, we’re more concentrated.”
PSG can also qualify with a draw if Real Madrid avoid defeat at home against Galatasaray. Should Real and the Turkish side share the points, the Ligue 1 leaders will go through even if they lose to Brugge.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Hugh Lawson)