Trophée des Champions: Paris confident but prudent
Fresh from a 2-0 win over Manchester United that clinched them the International Champions Cup title on Wednesday, a cool, calm and collected Paris Saint-Germain arrived in Montreal on Thursday afternoon.
The favourites in Saturday's Trophée des Champions duel against Olympique Lyonnais, Laurent Blanc's men will be looking to end their two-week North American summer tour in the best possible way: follow up their wins in New York, Charlotte, Toronto and Chicago with a third consecutive Trophée des Champions title.
On Thursday afternoon, at Montreal Impact's training centre, PSG went through a relaxed training session in front of 50 kids from the PSG Soccer Academy, working basics and physical conditioning while the 'keepers tested their movement and reflexes.
As has been the case for the last few seasons, the PSG players' every move fell under the scrutiny of an international press corps considerably more numerous than the year before. There is no question that Paris are favourites, and they are evidently comfortable with this tag even if they are wary of a Lyon side looking to bounce back from a 6-0 humiliation at the hands of Arsenal last weekend.
"We're confident but prudent as well. We know it'll be a tough match and we know that Lyon have a great team," said PSG left-back Maxwell, with compatriot David Luiz also chiming in. "It'll be a tough match against a solid side."
PSG's favouritism is also backed up by the exciting pre-season form that has lit up their North American tour this summer and yielded results again Manchester United, Chelsea, Fiorentina and Benfica.
"We've had a great pre-season and we've played some promising matches," continued Maxwell. "It's very important to rake in the confidence and the results, and we've done so against some excellent sides who are regularly competitive on the European stage."
"We've worked really well these past few weeks," declared PSG stopper Marquinhos. "All the lads are in the process of reaching peak levels and I think we'll be in very good shape both physically and mentally for this match against Lyon."