AS SAINT-ETIENNE VS PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
COUPE DE LA LIGUE
VENUE: STADE GEOFFROY-GUICHARD
DATE: 27TH NOVEMBER 2012
KICK-OFF: 19:55 (GMT)
Tonight is the perfect incentive for Paris Saint-Germain to seek retribution on Saint-Etienne whilst – most importantly – sealing a place in the semi-final of the Coupe de la Ligue.
Les Verts inflicted our first defeat of the season in the league earlier this month which result in poor run of form. All credit to Saint-Etienne on that night at the Parc at the turn of November where they arrived with no fear, making it difficult for us in the middle of the park and making the most of their opportunities. Although Les Parisiens contributed to their own downfall with Zlatan Ibrahimovic being sent off and Mamadou Sakho netting an own-goal, there was no doubt who the better team on the night was – the eventual victors.
Two wins over Troyes and Valenciennes have followed for Christophe Galtier’s men, along with a result against Evian, leaving tonight’s hosts third in the table, just a point behind ourselves at the top. In this competition they got to this stage with a thumping 3-0 win away to Sochaux with Romain Hamouma netting a brace in the process.
As for ourselves, the win over Marseille to get to this point was nice. An accomplished display against our biggest rivals, even though OM were reduced to 10-men when Rod Fanni was sent-off in the first-half.
Javier Pastore, who played that night will not be in the squad. Coach Carlo Ancelotti has confessed that he is suffering with his confidence – hence the reason why he was taken off at half-time at the weekend. His lack of impact in games is a worry for Ancelotti and he is keen to rectify it with the help of the team. He told the club’s Official Site; “Pastore has a confidence problem. But he can play in a counter-attacking side. He has the ability to deliver that final pass, like he did against Rennes for Nene’s goal. All his teammates believe in him, he just has some confidence issues. He needs to get out of this situation as quickly as possible. When I’m building my team, I don’t look at salary or passports of my players.”
Marco Verratti will also be missing from the squad having picked up a slight knock at the weekend against Troyes. Maxwell and Ibrahimovic were also touch and go with slight niggles but they have made the trip.