Slovan Bratislava vs PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
UEFA Europa League – Group F
Venue: Stadion Pasienky
Date: 20th October 2011
Kick-Off: 20:05 (GMT)
With things going swimmingly domestically, Paris Saint-Germain will look to get back on track in Europe and start by gaining a result tomorrow night in Bratislava.
The defeat at the San Mames against Athletic Bilbao three weeks ago somewhat put a downer on the tremendous form the team had shown prior, both at home and in Europe. Thankfully, that lethargic display in Spain seemed to galvanise the team as whole and racked up two back to back victories against title challengers Olympique Lyonnais and then Ajaccio last Sunday.
Sitting third in Group F, the Parisians will take heart from the fact that tomorrow’s opponents have yet to pick up a point. Slovan were narrowly beaten at home in their opening game 2-1 by Athletic Bilbao but were then resoundingly beaten 3-0 by Red Bull Salzburg in Austria. Nevertheless, tomorrow night will present an intimidating atmosphere and a spirited group of players looking to make it a difficult night for the French.
Domestically, the reigning Slovak champions have been hit and miss. Sitting fourth in the table they went six games without a win, until they turned a corner and beat Pezniok in the Slovak Cup. They lie just three points behind leaders Spartak Trnava and have a huge game at the weekend against second-placed Senica.
They will be without defender Erik Cikos but both Igor Zofcak and danger man Juraj Halenar, who is the club’s top scorer this season with four goals, have recovered from injury. Also Antoine Kombouare will identify Mamadou Bagayoko as a potential danger man to his players as he loves to get down the right-hand side.
As for the Parisians there is mixed news with Mathieu Bodmer out with a thigh strain but both Jeremy Menez and Diego Lugano – suspended for the game at Ajaccio – are back in contention. Milan Bisevac is still yet to gain full fitness, has not made the trip, as too Mohamed Sissoko (suspended), Blaise Matuidi and Guillaume Hoarau who are still on the treatment table.
The club could make a piece of history tomorrow if they find the back of the net twice and accumulate a century of goals in the UEFA Cup/Europa League. This will be their 69th game in the competition, 27 years after their first against Scottish club Hearts where they ran out 4-0 winners.
How they would love more of the same tomorrow.
Fact: The last French team to visit Slovakia were Marseille, who thumped MSK Zilina 7-0 in the UEFA Champions League last year.