PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN vs Evian Thonon Gaillard
Venue: Parc des Princes
Date: 4th February 2012
Kick-Off: 18:00 (GMT)
Alex and Thiago Motta are both in Carlo Ancelotti’s squad for the visit of Evian this evening.
The Brazilian duo completed their respective moves in the last week and will feature tonight. Ancelotti revealed in yesterday’s pre-match presser that Motta will start alongside Mathieu Bodmer and Mohamed Sissoko in central midfield. The Italian said “Motta, yes (when asked if he will start). Alex, I’ll see later if he plays or not. Sissoko, Motta and Bodmer will be aligned in the middle behind Nene, (Jeremy) Menez and (Kevin) Gameiro”.
If Alex does start he may partner skipper Mamadou Sakho in central defence but due to the form of Milan Bisevac it is not a forgone conclusion. The Serbian may be ushered to right-back to accommodate the former Chelsea man. Incidentally, Bisevac had picked up a knock in training this week but resumed yesterday and should be fine.
There is a real strength in depth throughout the spine of the team and the arrival of Maxwell along with the aforementioned Motta and Alex is shrewd business on the part of the club. A barrage of experience now oozes through the team which will stand in good stead for the title surge.
Tonight’s visitors have been awful on their travels this season, failing to pick up a solitary victory and losing their last four on the road – only Auxerre have a worse record. They have fared well against the top-three this season however, not tasting defeat against either Montpellier or Lille and managed a valiant 2-2 draw against PSG last September in which they were denied by a late Bodmer equaliser.
Ancelotti will be wary of the threat posed by Yannick Sagbo in attack. The Ivorian has been in red hot form of late, netting four in his last six. The ever present Cedric Cambon will also be a thorn in the side of the Parisians unless his influence is quelled in midfield.
Ancelotti also holds Christian Poulsen – the former Juventus and Liverpool man – in high regard when he was asked if he knew any of the Evian players. He also anticipates a difficult clash with Pablo Correa’s side; “The most important player is Poulsen. This is a player with fantastic experience. It will be a good match. Evian will give everything to create problems for PSG. They will be grouped in defense. They will tighten the line, give us problems, play against attack. We will have to concentrate”.
Evian are currently in 12th in Ligue 1 but are only four points off the relegation zone.
Note: The good news this week is that Javier Pastore has resumed training and may be fit for the vitally important game at home to Montpellier on the 19th Febrauary.