Thiago Silva Says PSG 'Have No Fear' of Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2020

DORTMUND, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 14: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Erling Braut Haaland of Borussia Dortmund looks on during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt at Signal Iduna Park on February 14, 2020 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Ralf Treese/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain do not fear in-form Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland ahead of their UEFA Champions League last-16 first leg, according to captain Thiago Silva.

Haaland signed for Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg in the January transfer window and scored his ninth goal for the club in just his sixth appearance in Friday's 4-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt:

In all competitions, the Norway international is averaging a goal every 39 minutes for BVB.

Remarkably, in the Champions League group stage, he averaged a similarly astonishing 47 minutes per goal, netting eight goals in six appearances for Salzburg in a group that also included Liverpool, Napoli and Genk.

Ahead of Tuesday's last-16 first leg between PSG and Dortmund at Westfalenstadion, Silva was full of praise for Haaland, but he told RMC Sport the French champions do not fear the 19-year-old (h/t Sean Wilson of Goal):

"He scores a lot of goals. Nine goals in six games, it's incredible, it's huge. I hope that we will be able to be cautious and that he will not score against us, but rather after in the league. But for us it's wonderful to play against a player like that, especially since he's just started his career. He is very motivated, but so are PSG.

"Are we afraid? We have no fear, but we have a lot of respect. I saw the match [against Eintracht], they have a lot of quality in front, they scored four goals, with incredible technique, movements that are difficult to fight. But if we are together, we can make a good match there. With great respect for these players, who are phenomenal."

Videos you might like

PSG have underwhelmed in the Champions League in recent seasons.

They were knocked out at the quarter-final stage four seasons running from 2012-13 onward. And in the past three campaigns, they failed to get past the first knockout round, a run that includes humiliating exits to Barcelona and Manchester United:

PSG are strong favourites to get past Dortmund and reach the last eight, but their recent history in the tournament adds significant pressure to Thomas Tuchel's side. As does the fact that Tuchel was BVB manager between 2015 and 2017.

Dortmund are a serious proposition at home. They have won their past three matches at Westfalenstadion by a combined score of 14-1 and are unbeaten on home turf this season in all competitions.

On the road, though, they have lost their past two games and won just three of their past 11.

As a result, if PSG can avoid defeat on Tuesday, they will be in prime position to advance to the next round.