PORTO, Portugal - Paris Saint Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti says his expensively assembled team face a true test of where they stand alongside the powerhouses of Europe as they prepare to take on Porto in their key Champions League clash here on Wednesday.
The 53-year-old former Juventus, AC Milan and Chelsea handler masterminded an opening 4-1 Group A victory over Dynamo Kiev in their home opener but believes their tie at the Dragon stadium against the 2004 champions will be a much greater challenge.
“In our pool, Porto are the most experienced team in the Champions League. For us to play here, on this pitch is a really good test to see what our level of confidence really is,” explained the former Italian international midfielder.
“It’s going to be difficult because Porto play an offensive game and to win here, we will need to be on form. But we are playing well and it is a good time to come here. If we win, we will have taken a huge step against the best team in the group”.
Porto trail PSG only on goal difference after goals from Lucho Gonzalez and Steven Defour propelled them to a 2-0 win over Dynamo Zagreb in the Croatian capital in their opener, and they come into the tie unbeaten in domestic action and level on 11 points with Benfica after five matches.
Ancelotti, who belongs to a select group of men who have twice won the European Cup both as a player and a coach (with AC Milan), says he may deploy some Italian tactics in a bid to control the attacking potential of the Portuguese and strike on the break.
“It is not a bad thing to play an Italian style. Italy have won several World Cups (four) and other teams play like that now,” he said.
“It signifies having a good defence and quality on the counter-attack. But saying that, the characteristics of my team are different. We want to play football. That is our objective.”