LILLE OSC VS PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
VENUE: Grand Stade Lille Metropole
DATE: 2nd September 2012
KICK-OFF: 20:00 (GMT)
Three games in and still no win for Les Parisiens. Nevertheless, their failure to do so has been nothing short of a storm in a teacup by the media outlets in France.
Even though an astronomical amount of money has been spent in bringing in players this summer, Carlo Ancelotti is building something special at the club and of course it will take time for the players to integrate. Bear in mind, we are only three games into the season but football is a very impatient entity in sport and instant results are deemed a foregone conclusion – considering the Euros that have been lavished by PSG.
Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi came out yesterday and said that patience is the key. Via the club’s Official Site, he said; “The players and coaches are very motivated. Of course, we started with three draws. This is not the best start possible. But I ask everyone to be patient as we are trying to build the team. We have not played a game with the same team because of injuries, suspensions. It was difficult but I am very confident for the future of Paris Saint-Germain.”
Last Week’s stalemate at home to Bordeaux was uninspiring at times but the opposition were in superb form heading into the game. They are a resolute side that made it hard for Ancelotti’s men, restricting the play and frustrating them. It is a conundrum that the team will face all season with teams coming to the Parc and stifling us. It is no shock, it happened on a regular basis last term but if we are to win the championship then we need to eradicate it, being ruthless and putting teams to the sword.
It does not get any easier however as we make the trip to Lille on Sunday night. The good news is central defender Thiago Silva is in line for his debut, possibly partnering his Brazilian compatriot Alex in the centre of defence. It has been a long overdue wait with the former Milan man being tied up in London over the summer for the Olympic Games. He has not trained with the team this week, more individual based sessions so whether or not he is thrown straight into the side remains to be seen.
Ezequiel Lavezzi is still suspended so Nene will more than likely uptake the left-hand side again. There were reports this week in Les Parisien that he and Zlatan Ibrahimovic had an altercation at Camp des Loges after the Brazilian allegedly tackled the big Swede robustly and was far from impressed. Players and coaches had to calm matters down but again, another storm in a tea cup. Incidents like that happen on a regular basis all over the world at football clubs, it is a competitive sport after all. Nothing for the Parisien fans to fret about.
What they should be more concerned about is the challenge tomorrow. Les Dogues may have lost Eden Hazard to Chelsea but they have still invested cleverly in the market bringing in the likes of Saloman Kalou, Nolan Roux and the biggest signing – fighting off an array of interest from other clubs – Marvin Martin for €10m from Sochaux.
It has been so far so good for them this season. Unbeaten in the league, five points from three games and qualified for the group-stages of the UEFA Champions League in midweek with a 2-0 win over Copenhagen. Now they have the pleasure of hosting their opponents at a brand spanking new stadium, the Grand Stade Lille Metropole. The 50,000 capacity stadium was christened with a 1-1 draw over Nancy two weeks ago with Kalou getting on the scoresheet.
Their coach Rudi Garcia rested plenty of his marquee names last weekend in preparation for the Champions League clash with Copenhagen and with that game going into extra-time, it may work in PSG’s favour in terms of fitness.
Marvin Martin will play just behind striker Tulio de Melo, as Kalou and Dimitri Payet operate down the wings. The system is pretty much the same as last season, Hazard’s departure has not altered the formation as such.
With the international break commencing next week, PSG will love to FINALLY get that elusive win and ease the anxiety. It will not be easy by any means but with Zlatan getting his fitness back up to speed and Silva in line for a debut, the team will be a lot more better off than last week that is for sure.
Probable PSG starting-XI: Sirigu, Jallet, Alex, Silva, Maxwell, Motta, Matuidi, Pastore, Nene, Menez, Ibrahimovic.