‘After PSG, it’s maybe the strongest team we’ll face this season’ – Paulo Fonseca says Lille need ‘perfect match’ to beat Aston Villa

Paulo Fonseca is under no allusions to the difficulty of the task at hand ahead of Lille OSC’s UEFA Europa Conference League quarter-final against Aston Villa on Thursday. 

Lille are flying in the league. Their last defeat in Ligue 1 came against Toulouse FC in late February and they have since picked up wins against fellow UEFA Champions League hopefuls, such as Olympique de Marseille and RC Lens. Currently fourth in Ligue 1, Fonseca will be dreaming of qualification for next season’s Champions League, even if he is not around to lead them, however, there is also a chance for silverware. 

Fonseca labels Aston Villa ‘strongest’ side in Europa Conference League

Alongside Aston Villa, Lille are considered one of the favourites to win the Europa Conference League. It is a final before the final in many ways and Fonseca has called on his side to put in the “perfect” performance in order to secure progression to the semi-finals of the tournament. 

“After PSG, it’s maybe the strongest team we’ll face this season,” said the Portuguese manager during Wednesday’s press conference. “Perhaps they are the strongest team [in the Europa Conference League] at the moment, perhaps they are the main candidate to win the competition […] We have to play with a lot of confidence and ambition. It is an important moment for the club, for the players […] we have prepared for this match to give us the possibility to win, but we know we have to be perfect to secure a positive result. Perfect,” he added. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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