Laurent Blanc wary of Jose Mourinho ‘heat’ before Champions League clash

Paris St Germain boss Laurent Blanc will urge his players to keep their composure amid provocation from Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho in tonight’s Champions League last-16 clash at the Parc des Princes.

Laurent Blanc wary of Jose Mourinho ‘heat’ before Champions League clash

Mourinho, who has created a siege mentality at Chelsea in recent weeks after suggesting there is a “clear campaign” against his side, claimed victory in last season’s quarter-final tie and will be aiming for a repeat.

“I know Jose Mourinho a bit and I know he’ll raise the heat,” said Blanc, speaking ahead of the first leg in Paris.

“So my players need to remain cool headed, not react and keep calm.”

Blanc rebuked PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for celebrating his goal in last Saturday’s draw with Caen by taking his shirt off.

The Swede explained that, in his role as a United Nations World Food Programme ambassador, he temporarily had 50 names of children tattooed and exposed them in celebration.

Blanc, whose side suffered numerous injuries in the contest, leaving them in danger of being severely depleted against Chelsea, said: “Imagine if he’d got another yellow card after 20 minutes? We may as well have abandoned the game in the 70th minute because we would have been down to seven men.

“It was a good initiative, but I don’t know whether him taking his shirt off was good for us. I hope if he scores he doesn’t take the shirt off because he will be booked again.”

Serge Aurier, Yohan Cabaye and Lucas Moura are out of the Chelsea clash after sustaining injuries in the Ligue 1 draw with Caen, while Marquinhos, Maxwell, Blaise Matuidi and Thiago Motta are doubtful.

One player PSG do have at their disposal is David Luiz, who will aim to show his worth after a £50 million (€67.6m) move from Chelsea last summer.

The 27-year-old hopes to finish on the winning side once again in a Champions League tie between the sides. Luiz believes Chelsea have improved since his departure and hopes he is worth more than the transfer fee paid for his signature.

“I hope, in this room, I am valued more than £50m,” Luiz said. “I just need to show my football every day and show my job for the club.”

Luiz was on the scoresheet in Chelsea’s 3-1 first-leg loss last term, although it was an own goal, with the Blues advancing after a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

“Last year I scored my first goal for PSG,” he said, before adding: “If I score against Chelsea I don’t celebrate for respect, but I will be happy.

“I want to qualify, like I qualified last year, but I want to qualify for PSG.”

The fee paid for Luiz helped Chelsea in their purchases of Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Filipe Luis, strengthening Jose Mourinho’s side, according to the Brazilian.

“They understand more the philosophy of Mourinho, and it’s easier to pass on the message in the second year of work,” he added. “They have two or three players more joining with amazing quality, like Fabregas and Diego. They are stronger this year.

“In the game, there won’t be a gap. You have two amazing teams, good players and two amazing coaches. We need to prove how far we have come.”

Asked to compare PSG boss Laurent Blanc and Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho, Luiz joked: “Both are ugly.”

PSG are bidding to advance to the quarter-finals for a third straight season, with Luiz believing success in the first-leg is imperative if they are to join Europe’s elite.

He said: “We need to be strong, to put in an amazing first leg because we need to decide it there.”

Blanc added: “Last year the key was Chelsea could score the away goal and we couldn’t. The priority is a clean sheet at home, good defending.”

Luiz’s battle with Costa, back from a three-match domestic ban, will be key in PSG’s bid to avoid conceding.

Costa has scored 17 times for Chelsea this term in 19 Premier League games, but is still to net in Europe.

Luiz, though, is a fan. “He is an amazing player,” he said.

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