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Emery confident PSG can punish Madrid men

PSG boss Unai Emery is happy his side have been drawn to face Real Madrid . (AFP)
LONDON: Real Madrid have been handed a nightmare tie in the second round of the Champions League with the defending champions being drawn to fave favorites Paris Saint-Germain.
The side from the French capital were easily the most impressive side from the group stages winning their first five matches, scoring 24 goals and conceding just one before a final-round defeat at Bayern Munich.
Real, on the other hand, looked far from their imperious best, finishing second to Tottenham. That patchy form in Europe has been replicated at home with the Madrid men currently lying fourth in La Liga, some eight points off arch-rivals Barcelona.
That has seemingly informed PSG boss Unai Emery’s claim that his side easily have enough class to see off the defending champions.
“I don’t think it’s the worst draw possible. I think we are of a level where we can play against Real Madrid,” said Emery.
“If you want to do something big in the Champions League you have to play against the best sides. I think these matches will be the centre of the footballing world when they come around.”
The tie will be the first meeting of the sides since the 2015-16 group stage, when Madrid won 1-0 at the Bernabeu after a 0-0 draw in Paris.
“I have lots of friends in Madrid; I know Real Madrid well too, having watched a lot of their matches. I know what the atmosphere is like there,” said Spaniard Emery.
“It is a wonderful opportunity for us. I am sure the team will be in perfect shape when the tie comes around.”
The other standout tie sees Chelsea come up against Barcelona. The Catalan club have once again looked impressive both at home and in Europe while Chelsea, after a good start which saw them win away at Atletico Madrid, finished second to Roma in Group C.
But if Chelsea fans are looking for some crumbs of comfort then they need look no further than the stats that have them unbeaten in their past seven games against Barca, winning five and drawing two. Added to that is the fact Lionel Messi has never scored in eight appearances against the Blues — it is his worst record against a team in his career.
Elsewhere Tottenham have seen their topping of Group H rewarded with a tie against Italian giants Juventus, and second favorites Manchester City handed a clash against Basel.
First legs will be played on Feb. 13/14 and 20/21, with second legs on Mar 6/7 and 13/14.