Stade Malherbe Caen vs PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
Venue: Stade Michel d’Ornano
Date: 17th March 2012
Kick-Off: 18:00 (GMT)
Paris Saint-Germain will be more than optimistic at prolonging their stay at the top of Ligue 1 with a victory over Caen tomorrow night.
Last week’s heroics in which Kevin Gameiro netted a stoppage time winner in Dijon emphasised how resilient the team has become under Carlo Ancelotti, who has brought something magical with him since arriving in France. This ‘never say die’ approach is so apparent with the number of late goals the team has accumulated in recent weeks, no more so than the one last week as well as the late fight back at the Stade de Gerland against Olympique Lyonnais. It is a trait can define a title winning year and the performance last weekend suggested that with a champion-esque performance.
Ironically, tomorrow’s hosts succumbed to a heavy 3-0 defeat against PSG’s title rivals Montpellier last weekend. Having endured a winless streak of 11 games, they upset the apple cart in Lyon with a 2-1 win, sparking a brief renaissance with results against Evian and Auxerre. However, they have failed to win in their last three and find themselves in 14th place, a point above the relegation zone where only seven points separate Valenciennes in 11th and Sochaux at the bottom.
Former Parisien Pierre -Alain Frau will be the focal point for Caen in attack. Although he has only scored five goals this season, they have been vitally important along with the contribution of veteran Benjamin Nivet from the bench – who has also netted five, thus being joint top goalscorer at the club with Frau. Incidentally, their skipper and the ever consistent Nicolas Seube is suspended for the game.
A huge blow for the visitors with Nene being suspended after picking up his third booking of the season last weekend. The current top goalscorer will be sorely missed so it will be interesting to see how Ancelotti sets his team up, perhaps moving Christophe Jallet further forward or reverting back to a 4-3-2-1 with Javier Pastore and Jeremy Menez behind the striker. Mohamed Sissoko is also suspended after being dismissed – rather unfairly it must be said – in the Dijon game.
PSG won the reverse fixture 4-2 last October and full-back Siaka Tiene has underlined the importance that the team give it their all tomorrow if more of the same occurs. Speaking the club’s Official Site, he said: “Every game is going to be crucially important until the end of the campaign. We are entering the final straight. Against Caen, we’ll have to give it everything, even with just two minutes to go. We’ll be playing against a determined side, in front of their own fans. They’ll be looking to knock us off, that’s certain. We’re going to have to play well, give it everything, as though it was at the Parc des Princes. That’s the strength of a truly great team.”