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PSG vs. Arsenal not a decisive game in Champions League - Kluivert

Paris Saint-Germain's director of football, Patrick Kluivert, has called for calm ahead of next Tuesday's Champions League Group A opener against Arsenal.

The French champions are in a bad way domestically, having lost 3-1 away at AS Monaco and drawn 1-1 at home to AS Saint-Etienne (on Friday night) in their last two Ligue 1 outings.

"We are not happy," Kluivert told press in the mixed zone after the final whistle. "Things were better in the second half.

"Arsenal will be a completely different match. There will not be five defenders. It was difficult to breach this wall. There will be a lot more space to play.

"Unai Emery must be given time and yes, of course, he will be given that. Producing immediate results is not simple.

"Is Arsenal a decisive match? No. It is an important one but not decisive."

PSG and Arsenal are expected to battle it out for top spot in Group A of the Champions League, with Basel and Ludogorets Razgrad the two other team involved.

However, Emery's men have a number of injury problems and fitness concerns after Layvin Kurzawa and Jese Rodriguez ended Friday's draw with injuries and the Gunners have a good chance to strike an early blow in the fight for first place in Paris next Tuesday.

PSG midfielder and captain in the absence of the recovering Thiago Silva (hip injury), Thiago Motta, echoed Kluivert's sentiments about the opposition.

"Arsenal are a level above Chelsea because they like to play," Motta said in the mixed zone after the Saint-Etienne draw. "We have not faced an English team that plays this way."

Next week's clash at Parc des Princes will be the third time PSG and Arsenal have met after the 1993-94 Cup Winners' Cup semifinals, which the London side won 2-1 on aggregate on their way to beating Parma in the final.

Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.


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