PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN VS TOULOUSE FC
VENUE: PARC DES PRINCE
DATE: 14TH SEPTEMBER 2012
KICK-OFF: 19:45 (GMT)
Paris Saint-Germain entertain Toulouse on Friday night where a first home win of the season could see us jump up into third place, three points behind Olympique Marseille who are away to Nancy on Sunday.
This is a big week coming up for the club as the excitement brews for the start of the UEFA Champions League next Tuesday night. Ukrainian runners-up Dynamo Kiev are the first visitors to the Parc for such an occasion in eight years – a long overdue match of its kind for Les Parisiens. The positive aspect of playing tomorrow night is that the squad have a prolonged period to prepare for the match, especially when you consider the amount of absentees at Camp des Loges this week due to international duty.
One of those representing his country was star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The big man played the entirety of Sweden’s 2-0 win over Kazakhstan last night. No doubt he will be feeling the effects come tomorrow, having played just 48 hours before.
It is a catch-22 for Carlo Ancelotti. He has a longer break to prepare for the game on Tuesday but there is no doubt most of his marquee names will be feeling the effects from their exploits this week all across the world.
Ezequiel Lavezzi is finally back from his suspension but did play 73 minutes on Tuesday in a hard fought 1-1 draw with Peru. Christophe Jallet had a superb evening for Les Bleus on the same night, starting his first ever international and also getting on the scoresheet. It was a joyous moment in the skipper’s career. Meanwhile Thiago Silva may again have to wait to make his debut as he has been struggling with a thigh injury all week. This has yet to be confirmed or denied.
Whether or not fatigue is a factor come kick-off, spirits are running high following the 2-1 win over Lille just under two-weeks ago. PSG were comfortable for the near entirety of the game and the influence of Ibrahimovic was again pivotal as his brace made the difference.
There was a militant nature to the team that night, undertaking their duties efficiently and not left wandering out of position. They made it uneasy for Les Dogues and restricted their play in the final third, frustrating them throughout. Marco Verratti, the young Italian, may be in line for another start against Toulouse after his sterling performance in Lille that even his idol Andrea Pirlo would have been proud of.
Tomorrow’s opponents have had a more than decent start to the campaign. They opened up with a 1-1 draw away to champions Montpellier followed by back to back wins against Saint-Etienne and Nancy. Striker Wissam Ben Yedder struck in the 89th minute to salvage a point at home to Reims just before the international break, keeping their unbeaten start intact.
The 21-year-old Ben Yedder has been on fire, netting three goals already, just behind Ibahimovic in the top goalscorer ranks. His emergence has been a real bonus for TFC, considering he only played 184 minutes of top-flight football last season. He is also getting international recognition, recently breaking into the French-U21 fold.
Les Parisiens will also need to keep their eye on Etienne Capoue. The midfielder bagged his first international goal for France over Belarus on Tuesday, his second appearance for Les Bleus. At 6 ft 2, his athletic physique allows him to be a constant figure in the centre of midfield and can anchor it expertly. His development has been steadily climbing for the past four years and now he looks set to become an international star. He is a fine footballer indeed.
It will not be an easy feat for PSG by any means tomorrow night. Ancelotti will need to keep his players minds on the task at hand rather than drifting towards Tuesday where that nerve tingling anthem gets ready to cascade the Parc des Princes.
Nevertheless, this an exciting week for the club and one we should just indulge in.
Probable PSG starting-XI: Sirigu, Jallet, Alex, Sakho, Maxwell, Motta, Matuidi, Verratti, Pastore, Lavezzi, Ibrahimovic.