Match Preview: PSG vs Nancy


Ligue 1

Venue: Parc des Princes

Date: 20th November 2011

Kick-Off: 20:00 (GMT)

It will have been two weeks since Paris Saint-Germain last kicked a ball but a lot has occurred since then with the club being involved in an array of matters.

The suspension of Peguy Luyindula – although not entirely surprising – is making the headlines almost every day in the French capital, with all the complications that accompany it such as the involvement of the LFP and the mystery that resulted in the club’s decision to take such action. Although these internal matters are far from ideal, Luyindula has been out in the cold for the past three months and the matter should not be detrimental to first-team.

What could be however is the uncertainty surrounding Coach Antoine Kombouare after director of football Leonardo met with former Milan & Chelsea Coach Carlo Ancelotti in Paris last week. That created a flurry of headlines, almost succumbing Kombouare to – what the media is assuming – a dismissal in the not too distant future. Although Leonardo insists the rendezvous was nothing more than an innocent meet & greet which had no bearing on the coaching setup, could this incident be damaging to on-field matters? It remains to be seen.

The 1-1 draw in Bordeaux prior to the international break entailed of little attacking intent and more of an acceptance to walk away with a point – despite a bright start from Mohamed Sissoko’s early opener. It was evident the team took their foot off the gas, perhaps bearing in mind that title rivals Lille had only managed a draw the night before at home to Evian.

LOSC  dropped points again last night at home to Toulouse which gives PSG a golden opportunity to gain a 10th consecutive home win against a Nancy side sitting in the bottom three. Les Chardons only picked up their first win of the season at the back end of October against Nice thanks to Daniel Niculae’s solitary goal. They succumbed to a 2-0 defeat away to Montpellier the week after but grabbed a huge win against Brest two weeks ago as Niculae again got the all important winner three minutes from time.

Although they have lost six Ligue 1 games thus far, they have been desperately unlucky at times and have proved to be quite a resilient outfit. They have not lost by more than two goals in a single game this season with only Lyon and high flying Montpellier being the only sides to really humble them.

They have only netted 10 goals in the league and have been dealt a huge blow in attack with in-form Niculae being been ruled out after suffering a groin injury whilst on international duty with Romania. Nevertheless, wide-man Lossemy Karaboue has been an integral figure in Jean Fernandez’s side, and will prove to be a tricky customer down the flank.

As for the hosts, both Jeremy Menez and Momo Sissoko are suspended but they will be buoyed by the fact that after six weeks out due to a thigh injury, midfielder Blaise Matuidi has declared himself available to play. The likelihood of him starting is slim but there is a real possibility he could be on the bench tomorrow. The Frenchman had been in sterling form prior to his injury in the 2-0 win over Lyon and he told the club’s official website that he hopes to carry on from where he left off as soon as he regains his match fitness:

“I know I need a little time, because when you’ve been out for six weeks, you need to come back slowly and get your rhythm back.” he said.

“I hope to be back how I was before the injury. That’s what I’ve been working towards. I’ve done a lot of work with the physical trainers who have been looking after me and I hope I’ll soon be reaping the rewards of all that hard work.”

Matuidi’s presence in midfield will be a welcomed boost and could be required tomorrow in a fixture that has been – more often than not – a tentative affair. There have been 11 draws in 19 meetings in Ligue 1 with PSG’s last victory occurring in March 2009 where they ran out 4-1 winners. Guillaume Hoarau, who should be back in contention next month after his injury lay-off, netted a brace that day.

How Monsieur Kombouare would love a similar scoreline tomorrow and prove a point or two to his doubters.

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