Paris Saint Germain vs Lille OSC - Emery urges team to keep focus on Ligue 1

Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2017 by PA

Unai Emery has urged his Paris St Germain players to remain focussed on their Ligue 1 title defence ahead of the Champions League meeting with Barcelona.

Second-placed PSG, who are aiming to win the French championship for a fifth successive year, currently trail leaders Monaco by three points.

Emery's troops have two league games before welcoming Barca to the Parc des Princes for the first leg of their last-16 European tie next Tuesday.

The first of those domestic fixtures is at home to Lille on Tuesday, followed by Friday's trip to Bordeaux.

When asked about his main priority, the Spanish head coach told reporters at his pre-match press conference: "This is the match against Lille. We need to enjoy each game to improve.

"This is the best preparation for all. We did not win the last game at home (a 1-1 draw against title rivals Monaco), that's why it is important."

Emery also admits he will have to manage his squad well in order to keep his players fresh for this crucial stage of the season.

"Fatigue is normal," he added. "When you play a lot of matches, every three days right now, you need 100 per cent players.

"Their management is therefore very important. It is necessary to talk with the doctors, the physiotherapists to know their condition.

"I want to line up a team to play, to win the matches. We work on a daily basis to properly manage this."

Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani is set to lead the line again for PSG after claiming his 30th goal of the season in Saturday's 3-1 win at Dijon, while winger Angel Di Maria and full-back Thomas Meunier have returned to training.

Goalkeeper Kevin Trapp and midfielder Marco Verratti, however, remain sidelined, along with attacking midfielder Javier Pastore.

Visitors Lille find themselves in 12th position following a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Lorient at the weekend.

Patrick Collot's side have won just twice on the road this season but striker Eder believes they may be able to spring a surprise in the capital.

"The match in Paris will be complicated, for sure," the Portuguese international told Lille's official website.

"But there is always the possibility of doing something there.

"Sometimes it is in this kind of meeting that we can demonstrate our quality."

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