Huge night for Paris Saint-German as they go toe to toe with title rivals Olympique Lyonnais at the Parc des Princes.
Both sit at the summit of Ligue 1 as joint league leaders with the same number of points (17) and goal difference (+7). Whoever comes out on top tonight will have real impetus to capitalise on a lead at the top.
Coaches Antoine Kombouare and Remi Garde have both had they say on the eve of the game.
Kombouare was interviewed by PSG’s official site.
Coach, the game against Lyon is the first test of the season for PSG?
“The game with Montpellier was not one? It’s an important game because we want to beat Lyon and because we play at home. But there are only three points at stake. This is only the ninth game. There are still 29 to go, so 87 points.”
Remi Garde thinks the match has a European flavour to it?
“They (Lyon) are well placed to talk about that because they have participated for many seasons in the Champions League. It is a match between the two teams at the top of Ligue 1 with perfect equality. It’s fabulous.”
Will you set up an anti-Gomis? (In regards to paying special treatment to Lyon’s star striker Bafetimbi Gomis)
“No, not especially. We know that the player is on form but do not forget (Michel) Bastos, who is the source of goals for Gomis. He is capable of being a passer and scorer. There is also (Jimmy) Briand, right? This is a team that plays well, consistent in training, with a strong midfield that is capable of playing.”
“Gomis will be monitored but there are many other players.”
What do you think the difference in recovery time between both teams will be like? (On Tuesday Lyon played in the Champions League and PSG played in the Europa League on Thursday).
“I do not want this to be an excuse. When you play these kinds of matches, we leave aside fatigue. Forces are increased tenfold. It was a big motivation and desire to make a great match on Sunday. Everyone wants to play this game, especially those who played Thursday in Bilbao.”
As for the Lyon camp, their Coach Remi Garde has indeed compared it to a European game – as was touched on in Kombouare’s interview.
Speaking to the press in his pre-match briefing, he spoke on PSG’s defeat in Bilbao, possible fatigue, Javier Pastore and ofcourse the game itself.
“In my opinion, every match is important…There are three points up for grabs…There will still be a lot of points on offer after Sunday’s game. If we lose, it’s not the end of our season, and if we win, we won’t win the title. But it is a special match, given the general context.” he told reporters.
“It might have looked better if I had the whole squad at my disposal. We’ll be there with the strongest possible side. I’m making do and the squad is reacting well for the moment. I’m expecting a very strong PSG side, more like the PSG against Montpellier than the one that lost in Bilbao. By the way, I don’t know if PSG decided to take it easy against a very good Athletic Bilbao side. I don’t know how they approached that game.
“You could say we have an advantage over them in terms of recovery time. Both teams had the same fixture demands in September and I think PSG had more chances to rest a few players in that time than we did. I have a young squad. PSG’s side is more experienced. But both sides have strengths and weaknesses…
“Pastore? I observed him when he was playing in Argentina. I’m not at all surprised. He breathes football, he’s very skilful and he’s improved physically and has adapted well to European football. He’s capable of changing a game by himself.
“In terms of my squad’s fatigue, I’m not worried. My squad wants to get forward and fight in each and every match. Everyone wants to play well on Sunday.”
Stay tuned to 1970 PSG throughout the day for all the pre-match buildup.