PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN VS FC SOCHAUX
VENUE: PARC DES PRINCES
DATE: 29TH SEPTEMBER 2012
KICK-OFF: 16:30 (GMT)
Tomorrow is the beginning of the biggest seven days of the season thus far for Paris Saint-Germain. The visit of Sochaux at the Parc des Princes is soon followed by an away trip to Portuguese champions FC Porto in the Champions League, culminating with the Clasico against league leaders Marseille the following weekend.
It could be easy for the players to be detracted from the job in hand tomorrow but that simply will not happen. This PSG team at present is playing with a vigour, desire and above all else a fluency which we have not seen for some time. The Carlo Ancelotti affect of a winning mentality is as evident as ever and the 4-0 win over Bastia last week remonstrated that the team can overcome difficult tests/atmospheres when called upon.
It is a big opportunity tomorrow to jump into second-place. With Olympique Lyonnais and league leaders Marseille playing on the Sunday, Les Parisiens can put the pressure on them with a victory over an indifferent Sochaux side. They lost their opening four league games but have hit a good run of form of late with three consecutive wins, one of which came in midweek in the Coupe de la Ligue – beating Evian 3-2 in extra-time.
A valiant win in Saint-Etienne last month has certainly got them ticking again and a victory over Troyes followed a week later. This has largely been down to the form of 21-year-old striker Cederic Bakambu, netting four goals in his last two outings. He will play as the lone striker up top tomorrow evening with a supporting trio in the form of Abdoul Camara, Roy Countout and Sebastien Roudet (supposedly).
As for ourselves, we need to contend with the absence of Thiago Motta yet again for a third consecutive game due to a back problem. A statement on the club’s Official Site read: “Thiago Motta has been left out to have treatment for his back pain and is already out of Saturday’s match against Sochaux”. That will mean the flawless Marco Verratti will anchor the midfield trio with Blaise Matuidi and possibly Clement Chantome.
Also, Ezequiel Lavezzi will be missing due to a pulled muscle that ruled him out last week but he should be in contention for the game in Portugal on Wednesday.
There have been a few worries at Camp des Loges with slight niggle this week. Salvatore Sirigu, Jeremy Menez, Mohamed Sissoko, Mathieu Bodmer and Diego Lugano have all undertook individual sessions due to various pains following a session on Wednesday. However, the majority will more than likely be in the squad for tomorrow with nothing too serious. Lugano on the other hand will more than likely have to contend with spectating another game from the stands having not figured at all this season.
With the news of a last-16 draw with Marseille in the Coupe de la Ligue at the end of October, it is poised to a frenetic and exciting month – maybe a defining one for the course of the season.