AS Saint-Etienne vs PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
Venue: Stade Geoffroy-Guichard
Date: 21st December 2011
Kick-Off: 20:00 (GMT)
Paris Saint-Germain would love to end the year on a high with a win over Saint-Etienne tonight, possibly finishing 2011 on top of Ligue 1.
Last Sunday’s 0-0 draw with champions Lille was enough to propel them back to level on points with Montpellier, who sit top due to goal difference. If PSG can better MHSC’s result – who are away to Evian – then they will enter the winter break as the undisputed league leaders.
However, the Parisians are coming up against a side who are unbeaten in their last seven games in all competitions. Les Verts currently occupy 5th place, coming off two consecutive wins against Caen and Dijon. After a real bleak period during September, failing to register a single win during the entire month, they have since responded readily, losing just the two games against Olympique Lyonnais in both the league and Coupe de la Ligue.
The form of Pierre Aubameyang has been a welcome boost. The 22-year-old has been ever present in Christophe Galtier’s XI, contributing with six goals in the process. Summer recruit Florent Sinama Pongolle is also starting to show some form since his move from Real Zaragoza. The former Liverpool starlet is beginning to integrate nicely into the team, netting three times in his last five outings.
Antoine Kombouare will also be mindful of midfielder Jeremy Clement who – ironically – has done a sterling job in replacing Blaise Matuidi who made the move to the capital during the summer. Unfortunately there will be no rendezvous for the 24-year-old at his old stamping ground due to a thigh injury that will keep him out until the start of next year.
On the injury front for the Parisians, Kombouare has opted not to select skipper Mamadou Sakho in his 18-man squad due to a hamstring problem. The central defender also missed the game against Lille and was rested as a precaution.
If things go according to plan, then PSG can embark on an exciting 2012 as the winter champions. A win tonight would certainly round off a remarkable year for those affiliated to PSG, with so much more yet to come.