Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino rates Chelsea as the ‘team to beat’ in the Champions League this campaign.
The Blues began their Champions League defence with a 1-0 victory over Russian side Zenit Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.
Juventus and Malmo await Chelsea in Group H and Pochettino says Thomas Tuchel’s side are the most dangerous team in Europe, particularly after signing Romelu Lukaku.
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The Belgium international completed a £97.5m return to Stamford Bridge this summer and has already scored three goals in three matches for the London club.
‘It’s possible that Chelsea and ourselves are the two teams to beat on paper, looking at our squads, but Chelsea are the holders so they’re the team to beat especially after strengthening their squad,’ Pochettino said at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
‘We’re not a team yet. We are a club that has recruited many players this summer. There are some big names but we have to turn into a team.
‘We know that we’ll be judged at the end of the season on our results. The pressure is there for all the clubs and we know that for a number of years, the Champions League is PSG’s main objective.’
Pochettino revealed it was ‘possible’ that Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe could start together for the first time as PSG kick-start their European campaign withba game against Club Brugge.
PSG skipper Marquinhos has said that even if the three of them play, the team need to perform as a defensive unit and said he would not be reluctant to make his voice heard on the pitch.
‘If the three of them are up front, they’re experienced players, they know we have to be compact and defend together,’ he said.
‘We know the defence has to play high to put them in the best conditions. If there’s anything to be said I’ll certainly say it.’