Verratti warns against underestimating Chelsea in Champions League


Marco Verratti has warned Paris Saint-Germain against underestimating Chelsea ahead of next month's Champions League last-16 clash with the Premier League side.

Next month's two-legged encounter will mark the third straight season in which PSG have faced Chelsea in the knockout rounds.

Chelsea erased a 3-1 deficit to progress on away goals in the quarter-finals in 2014.

PSG then eliminated Chelsea in the last 16 in last year's tournament, with a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge sending Laurent Blanc's men through on away goals.

The Ligue 1 champions have only lost once in all competitions this season - suffering a 1-0 loss in the Champions League group stage at the hands of Real Madrid.

By contrast, Chelsea have struggled in their defence of the Premier League title and are still just five points above the relegation zone despite a run of four league games unbeaten since Jose Mourinho's exit as manager.

Verratti told Le Parisien: "We have demonstrated we are a great team. In the Champions League, we only conceded one goal in Madrid, where we played a great match. We are better than last year, especially defensively.

"This [winning the Champions League] is our goal. Talk is easy, but you have to prove it on the field. 

"We want to do something more than last season. And it is only the Champions League that is available.

"Playing against Chelsea is never boring. It is a top European club with players of world stature. We will have to confront them with maximum humility and concentration.

"They changed their coach and are in a difficult moment, but we absolutely must not underestimate them. It would be an unforgivable mistake that could cost us dearly."