Pochettino says Chelsea are ‘team to beat’ in the Champions League ahead of PSG – Football.London

Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino believes Chelsea are once again the ‘team to beat’ in the Champions League this season.

The Blues were crowned champions of European football for the second time earlier this year, as they beat Manchester City 1-0 in the final thanks to Kai Havertz’s goal.

Since then, manager Thomas Tuchel has been able to strengthen his squad further with the signings of Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan and Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid.

The former of those two acquisitions has enjoyed a blistering beginning in his second spell with the Blues. Lukaku scored the only goal of the game on Tuesday, as Chelsea got the defence of their crown off to a winning start at Stamford Bridge against Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Speaking before Chelsea kicked off against Zenit, Pochettino, the former manager of Tottenham Hotspur, said he thinks Tuchel’s outfit will be difficult to beat again, ESPN reports.

“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,” said the PSG boss.

“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.”

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PSG went on a remarkable recruitment drive in the summer, signing Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi and more.

Given the French giants already boasted attacking talent like Neymar and Kylian Mbappe before their summer acquisitions, many are expecting them to finally go all the way in Europe’s premier club competition.

In 2020 – when managed by Tuchel – they came close, losing to Bayern Munich in the final, while last term they were knocked out in the semi-finals by Manchester City.

Pochettino has also come agonisingly close to lifting the European Cup, as his Spurs side came up short in the final against Liverpool in 2019.

PSG will start their European campaign on Wednesday when they travel to Club Brugge.

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