PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN vs Football Club Sochaux-Montbeliard
Venue: Parc des Princes
Date: 22nd April 2012
Kick-Off: 16:00 (GMT)
It has been a week of questioning with those affiliated to Paris Saint-Germain following the lacklustre 1-1 draw away to lowly Auxerre last Sunday in which a huge opportunity was missed to go level on points with Montpellier at the top of the table.
Nene’s first-half strike was cancelled out four minutes from time by Anthony Le Tallec to give the home side a new sense of belief whilst dishing out a handful of issues for PSG Coach Carlo Ancelotti to ponder.
The manner of the performance and the inability to grasp such an opportunity is the most disappointing. MHSC slipped up massively in Lorient with a 2-1 defeat, paving the way for the capital club to go joint-top four hours later. Carlo dropped Javier Pastore – which many in the French press had speculated beforehand – but it can be argued that his presence was indeed missed. Although the Argentine has been nowhere near as influential as he was at the beginning of the season, he has the ability to produce a moment of magic and offer creativity in abundance – something that was drastically lacking last weekend.
Captain Mamadou Sakho was also dropped to the bench once again, leading to Le Parisien speculating on whether or not his future lies elsewhere. It will be interesting to see if he is recalled to the starting line-up for Sunday’s game at home to another relegation candidate, Sochaux.
The players evidently need a kick-up the backside to get them back on song and Ancelotti will have been doing just that at Camp des Loges this week, especially if his post-match comments in Auxerre were anything to go by. He said after the game; “I think we took it too easy in the second half. We must not play like that. We need to play with more determination, more character if we want to be champions. We need to completely change our attitude. Every match is difficult, I said it before we came here. Auxerre needed the points and so did we. After the opening goal, we stopped playing. I’m very angry with my players, they need to change their attitudes quick smart! We missed out on a great chance to move back level at the top of the standings”.
Carlo has been there and done it wherever he has played or coached during his illustrious career and knows full well the importance of grasping opportunities when they present themselves. Last week was a massive blow but defender Milan Bisevac is under no illusion that Sunday is simply a must win game. He told the club’s Official Site: “After the match against Auxerre, we were really disappointed. It was a tough one to accept. Now we’ve turned our attentions to Sochaux, a match we simply must win. We can’t afford to ask too many questions. It’s the three points, pure and simple!”
Les Parisiens will come up against a side third from bottom in Ligue 1 but are in a decent run of form. They have won four of their last six, the latest being a 1-0 win over Dijon at the Stade Auguste Bonal last weekend. Eric Hely’s side will be no pushovers and PSG must not fall into the trap – yet again – of underestimating their opponents. Striker Modibo Maiga, who looked for all the world to be set for a move to Newcastle United at one point, has hit a rich vein of form by netting four in his last four outings. It is the kind of form that brought him to prominence last season as Les Lionceaux qualified for Europe.
With six games remaining, PSG can ill afford any more slip ups. A win is absolutely necceassary on Sunday night and everyone affiliated with the club will also be willing on Valenciennes to do them a favour in Montpellier on Saturday night.