FC Sochaux-Montbeliard vs PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
Venue: Stade Auguste Bonal
Date: 10th December 2011
Kick-Off: 18:00 (GMT)
Paris Saint-Germain travel to Sochaux tomorrow night in search of a consecutive win after beating Auxerre 3-2 last weekend at the Parc des Princes.
That in effect helped ease the ever growing tension surrounding the Parisian club, with many speculating that a defeat would have ended the tenure of Coach Antoine Kombouare – after witnessing three defeats on the bounce.
Remarkably, hours after the final whistle last Sunday, Al-Jazeera reported that Rafael Benitez was on the verge of replacing Kombouare in the PSG dugout. This lead to a ripple effect across the media, particularly on the internet, with fans and journalists alike baffled by the dramatic development. In the end however, Benitez’s agent came out and dismissed the reports, thus shrouding the club in even more uncertainty.
Nevertheless, that has not stopped the player’s voicing their support for the Coach. Jeremy Menez gave his backing to Tony in an interview with Le Parisien this week by saying; “He asks us not to think about him and focus on football, but for me he’s always been the man for the job. He has done a good job. We support him 100 per cent. Often, the problem is not only the coach.”
That aside, last week proved that there is still a resiliency and desire from the players – showing a glimmer of their early season form. When Auxerre equalised with just under half an hour to play, you could be forgiven to fear the worst. Scintillating displays from Menez and Nene ultimately made the difference as they bamboozled their adversaries down the flanks on numerous occasions. Brazilian Nene netted a brace and proved to be the match winner from the spot.
With a win under their belts and ending the rut, that should put them in good stead for tomorrow’s trip to the Stade Auguste Bonal. The hosts are currently lying in 13th place, and are only four points above the relegation zone. They have only managed three wins all season but did earn a valiant point away to Dijon last weekend. If Kombouare’s men enter the game underestimating them then they are in for a shock. Despite their patchy form they are more than capable at upsetting the apple cart having humbled both Toulouse and Olympique Lyonnais on home turf this season.
Ryad Boudebouz has proved just how indispensible he is to his team this season. A huge factor in the club’s qualification for the Europa League this season, the Algerian tops both the assist and goalscoring charts for his club. The 21-year-old will be a thorn in the side of the visitors unless his influence is quelled.
The same applies for Marvin Martin who is a key member of Les Lionceaux’s midfield. He racked up the most assists in the entire league last season and has attracted interest from England, in particular Arsenal. He has already spoken of a desire to seek pastures new, as too Modibo Maiga who looks set for a January move to Newcastle United. Incidentally he is doubtful for the game having been recuperating from a knee injury. Carlao is also out with a hamstring problem.
Mixed news on the injury front for the Parisians. Blaise Matuidi will be out until the new year after damaging his hamstring against Auxerre but striker Guillaume Hoarau is back in full training after shoulder surgery back in September.
With Lille and Montpellier with favourable games against Dijon and Valenciennes respectively, it is vital that three points are acquired to set up the game against the champions a week on Sunday beautifully.