Anderlecht v PSG preview
Paris St Germain coach Laurent Blanc is treating Anderlecht with due deference as the in-form French champions meet their struggling Belgian counterparts in the Champions League.
The cash-rich Parisian club approach the Group C game in Brussels as unopposed Ligue 1 leaders having beaten Bastia 4-0 at the weekend, while Anderlecht are struggling for domestic consistency and sit fifth in the Jupiler Pro League.
While a third consecutive European victory would see Blanc's men close on a place in the last 16 and extend their unbeaten continental run to an 11th game, it would most likely condemn the Belgians to another early exit.
Anderlecht have won only two of their last 10 Champions League matches.
But Blanc is all too aware that realistic rivals Benfica and Olympiacos are ready to swallow up his side's three-point lead should Anderlecht edge a positive result at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium.
He told a press conference: "We've spent just as much time analysing Anderlecht as we have the other teams in our group.
"Let's make sure we don't ease off. That's always the risk when you underestimate an opponent.
"We are in good shape and on a good run."
Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice in the last round's 3-0 victory over Benfica and should be partnered by Edinson Cavani in the PSG attack.
Defender Thiago Silva, however, continues to struggle with a hamstring injury while Javier Pastore and Christophe Jallet are missing.
"Cavani and Ibrahimovic are with us and, at the moment, they're feeling good," Blanc added.
"Thiago Silva is back in training and is feeling good too."
The Belgian champions have lost both their Group C games, going down 2-0 at Benfica before Olympiacos plundered a 3-0 win at the Vanden Stock.
They suffered a further setback when goalkeeper Silvio Proto was ruled out with an ankle injury.
But Thomas Kaminski, who recently extended his contract until 2018, will replace Proto against PSG and hopes his performance sees him hold onto the gloves.
"It's still my ambition to become the first-choice goalkeeper, and to remain in the role," he said.
"I have trained very hard and worked very hard. I will try to perform for the team to the best of my ability.
"I am now getting a sense of what people expect from me and I'm confident they can count on me."
Attacking midfielder Ronald Vargas is also unavailable following knee surgery.
Wednesday night's game is a first encounter between the sides since December 1992, when Anderlecht were arguably the stronger force in European football.
The Paars-wit had played out a goalless draw in Paris before taking the second-leg lead in Belgium through John Bosman, so it came as some surprise when an away goal from Antoine Kombouare sent PSG through to the fourth round of the UEFA Cup. Rioting between supporters marred both fixtures.
Despite the long cooling-off period, tension remains high between the two sets of fans and Brussels mayor Eric Thomas has consequently decided to deploy up to 400 police officers to help keep order in the fortress town.