Superstar signings have piled pressure on us - PSG boss Unai Emery
The addition of former Barcelona and Juventus full-back Dani Alves, who has 102 caps for Brazil, has further strengthened the French giants, but Emery admits that the depth of quality in his squad has left him with no reason – and certainly no excuse – to fail.
It is the price he has to pay for having assembled the most expensive team in the history of the game. Celtic will be the underdogs at Parkhead and Emery is aware that questions will be asked of him if he does not make a winning start.
“We go into tomorrow’s game with a lot of confidence,” said the Spaniard, after his players had taken a brief stroll on the playing surface at Parkhead. “We have worked hard and we will have to work hard here. I feel that we look forward to a good start. I know, obviously, that the Champions League is a big objective for the club and I know it’s going to be difficult against Celtic.
“Of course, it’s true that this is the most important competition so I have a lot of responsibility, with so many good players at my disposal.
“It is a great moment for the club, to be starting a Champions League campaign. There are a lot of other good teams in the Champions League – and Celtic are one of them.
“We have to be careful because we know that, at home, Celtic play with so much intensity. With this team, we have a real possibility of going very far in the competition, but we know we will have to get there on our merit.”
Even without the injured Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore, PSG possess options in every area and, middle to front especially, they will be as strong as anyone else in the tournament.
“We have the ability to play with a different tactic, going forward,” Emery, pictured, said. “It’s important to work with the players. I insist on tactical discipline and working well together. I know that Celtic will attack and defend as a team. We have a lot of attacking players, but we still have to pay attention to defence.”
Club captain Thiago Silva was bullish ahead of the new campaign but PSG have much to prove following their damaging collapse last season when, in the round of 16, they took a 4-0 lead to the Camp Nou and lost 6-1, conceding three goals in the last two minutes plus stoppage time.
The Brazilian, though, insisted there would be no hangover from that capitulation. “What happened last year is already forgotten,” he said. “We’ve prepared hard for the Champions League and we are very motivated. We expect a very good game. We have great respect for Celtic, who will be very difficult opponents. I don’t know if we are favourites to win the Champions League but we should get close this year. There are a lot of players with a lot of quality across the competition but we have a lot of talent in our team.”
Which brings us to Neymar, who has four goals in as many games for his new club, and Mbappe, who opened his account in his debut on Friday, a 5-1 victory at Metz.
“The recruitment was very, very good,” said Thiago Silva. “They are both experienced and they are both very motivated to improve this team.
“We have confidence in them as team-mates. Neymar has so much experience in the Champions League. He can maybe make the difference.
“The three players we have signed are incredible but the opposing teams, including Celtic, know all about them.
“When you’ve got these guys in there with their technique and ability on the ball, it’s an impossible task to stop them every time.”