PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN vs FC GIRONDINS DE BORDEAUX
VENUE: PARC DES PRINCES
DATE: 26TH AUGUST 2012
KICK-OFF: 20:00 (GMT)
Tomorrow will be no easy feat as Paris Saint-Germain look to make it third time lucky and register their first victory of the season over a resurgent Bordeaux.
Last week’s baron 0-0 draw away to Ajaccio was not one for the purists, as we seemed to lack a cutting edge to take the game by the scruff of the neck. The absence of a focal point in Zlatan Ibrahimovic was evident and matters were not helped when Ezequiel Lavezzi was brandished a straight red card early on in the second-half.
Regardless, the start may not have been frenetic but it has been solid. The first-half against Lorient was one to forget on the opening day but the character to siege a comeback after the interval was certainly impressive – perhaps should have bagged all three points based on the chances that were conjured.
The general play last week was fairly decent, keeping the ball well but the failure to carve out clear cut chances was disappointing. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but had Lavezzi not been sent off then things would have perhaps been different. PSG looked bright in the early going in the second-half especially Javier Pastore. A calamity of errors – along with Carlo Ancelotti being sent to the stands -resulted in it being one of those nights and the game petered out into a stalemate.
There is still a doubt over Ibrahimovic being fit for tomorrow’s game. He has resumed training this week, mainly working with the physiotherapist but he is still feeling the after affects. A decision will be made today over whether or not he makes the squad. If he fails to do so, the door will open for Kevin Gameiro to make a start as the out-an-out striker. Le Parisien believes Ancelotti will turn to the front man to be the catalyst in front of goal after opting to utilise Jeremy Menez in the role last week. Menez will more than likely move back to the right-hand side of the front three with Nene on the opposite, filling in for the suspended Lavezzi who will miss two games. Then again Pastore may be required to play further forward, instead of being a part of a midfield trio.
In that midfield could be Thiago Motta who has returned to full fitness. Marco Verratti was impressive again last week when he came on as a second-half substitute and may be in line for a start. His incisive passing is a trait that will be revered at the Parc des Princes, already showing a wealth of attributes in such a short space of time.
Defender Thiago Silva was officially unveiled yesterday in a press conference alongside director of football Leonardo and chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi who paid a glowing testament to the new man saying; “I would first like to welcome Thiago Silva. We are delighted to have with us the best defender in the world and it is an honour to have him on our team. Paris will be proud of him and he will do great work here. He comes from AC Milan, one of the biggest teams in the world, and he came here because he believes in our project.”
Silva has not trained at all with his colleagues in defence putting his contention tomorrow into question. Ancelotti is no fool and if he believes his new asset will have no qualms about playing, he will put him in the squad – but starting the game looks unlikely.
Bordeaux will be a stern test and their renaissance is there for all to see. Dark horses to contest for a top three finish, they already have two wins under their belt with the last an impressive 1-0 victory over Stade-Rennais.
They did contest in Europe on Thursday, a 0-0 draw in Belgrade against Red Star. Surprisingly, coach Franic Gillot played more or less his strongest-XI. Yoan Gouffran and Ludovic Obraniak played up top in a 4-4-2 but were unable to get on the scoresheet. It is likely Gillot will refer back to a 4-4-1-1, Obraniak playing just behind Gouffran and they will be a major threat. Cheick Diabate will be used as an impact substitute if needs must for the visitors so they have plenty of options.
This is a big game for Les Parisiens when you bear in mind that the game afterwards is an away trip to Lille. It will not get any easier so three points tomorrow night will be the tonic needed to kick on and put a marker on the title race. Allez PSG!
Probable PSG starting-XI: Sirigu, Jallet, Alex, Sakho, Maxwell, Motta, Verratti, Pastore, Nene, Menez, Gameiro.