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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 2 hours ago
Read
Apr 1, 2013

Barca always favourites, says PSG's Silva

Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva has said Barcelona "are always favourites" - but believes they can be beaten when the teams meet in the Champions League.

• Brassell: Super Silva ready for Barca
• Beckham issues rallying call
• PSG: Ancelotti is staying

The big-spending Ligue 1 club take on Barca in the first leg of the quarter-final at the Parc des Princes, and Silva believes their squad contains enough players with big-game experience for them to be able to handle the challenge.

He told FIFA.com: "Barcelona are always favourites, whatever team they're playing against. But we've got the chance to turn that on its head.

"They'll be two tough games between two great teams. They'll be aiming for the title, just as we are, so we'll be trying to stop them.

"We've maybe got a little less experience than they do, but we've got a quality squad packed with players used to decisive matches."

The defender said people should not read too much into the changes at Barcelona since the departure of Pep Guardiola.

Gardiola's successor, Tito Vilanova, has returned to the club after being treated in New York for a recurrence of cancer.

"Today's Barcelona are a bit different to that side under [Pep] Guardiola, even though the players are the same," Silva explained.

"It's not even anything out on the pitch, it's perhaps more of a leadership issue due to that change in coach.

"But I don't think it'll make much difference in the end, because Tito and his coaching staff knew Guardiola well and have carried on the good work."

And he warned his team-mates that Barca's versatility meant even the most thorough defensive preparation may not be enough.

"They're capable of doing something completely unexpected, which can end up making you look silly," he said. "They've got the best team in the world."

Silva said he was excited by the continued progress of Qatari-backed PSG but warned fans hoping for a glut of honours that they would need to bide their time.

"We need to win titles, which is the aim of this project," he added. "We just need to keep our feet on the ground and be patient, because we're on an upwards curve."

PSG brought in former England midfielder David Beckham after his departure from LA Galaxy, and he has urged his team-mates to believe they can defeat Barca.

"We're going to meet the challenge. We mustn't go out there thinking we're going to lose," he told beIN Sport. "They're perhaps the best team in the world, and Messi is the best player, but he's not out there on the pitch alone. We have to convince ourselves it's possible."

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