Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery says his side will be using two upcoming matches against arch-rivals Marseille at the Parc des Princes as preparation for the Champions League clash with Real Madrid.
PSG's games with Marseille are usually the biggest fixtures on the French footballing calendar, but Spaniard Emery insists that Sunday's Ligue 1 match and next week's French Cup quarter-final come second to trying to keep alive their European dream.
The big-spending capital club were beaten 3-1 in the first leg of their last-16 tie last week as Cristiano Ronaldo scored a double for reigning champions Real.
Two clasicos for PSG before Real Madrid
"These are two 'clasicos' (against Marseille)...which will serve to prepare us for Real," Emery wrote this week on his personal website.
PSG, who were held to a 2-2 draw at Marseille earlier this season, are 12 points clear at the top of the French table and set to reclaim the title they lost to Monaco last season.
It would be a fifth league crown in six seasons for the Parisians but, for all the money poured into the club by their Qatari owners, PSG have not been able to translate domestic domination into European success, with the 6-1 humiliation at Barcelona a year ago the low point.
Emery attracted a lot of the blame for that performance and for the loss to Zinedine Zidane's Real at the Santiago Bernabeu, where he removed striker Edinson Cavani with the score still level.
But the former Sevilla coach argues that PSG are much better at home, where they had beaten Barca 4-0 in the first leg last season.
"It is above all at the Parc that we remain a powerful force," he added.
"Marseille and Real Madrid know they have to come to Paris, but they don't really know what is facing them. Together we will do it."
Emery praises Neymar
Emery also praised Neymar, who came in for criticism from some quarters after the Real Madrid game for not having made much of an impact, despite some impressive individual skill, with the Spaniard saying: "When we play at our stadium, all our players feel something special, Neymar too. He's intelligent, he learns from what happens, individually or collectively, to not make the same mistakes."
Cavani scored twice in a 5-2 romp against Strasbourg last weekend, the second set up by world-record signing Neymar.
But Cavani's on-field gestures make it clear he thinks the Brazilian should pass to him more often and their strained relationship is under the microscope.