NICE VS PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
VENUE: STADE MUNICIPAL DU RAY
DATE: 1ST DECEMBER 2012
KICK-OFF: 19:00 (GMT)
Paris Saint-Germain will be looking to erase the midweek elimination from the Coupe de la Ligue with a victory over Nice tomorrow night and assert the pressure on leaguer leaders Olympique Lyonnais.
There is no doubt that the end result on Tuesday night was bitterly disappointing. Les Parisiens did everything by the book except for putting the ball in the back of the net. They were up against a resilient Saint-Etienne side who just do not know how to give up and Stephane Ruffier in goal was just inspired.
In the end, penalties decided PSG’s fate and another year in the competition ended in disappointment. Focus can now turn towards the league as well as European matters with a home clash with FC Porto next week where the victors will win the group.
Tomorrow will be another opportunity for Ancelotti to utilise his squad. With Javier Pastore and Marco Verratti rested in midweek, you would feel they will come back into contention. Pastore is a more complex issue with his coach admitting that he has issues with his confidence. For this to be rectified he needs to play, and in his favourable position of just behind the striker. Doubtful, judging by our current style of play, so he may drop back into the midfield trio which he has done on a number of times this season.
Verratti’s prowess in midfield is always missed when he is not there. He came under some criticism from his coach for being too casual on the edge of his penalty area but it is nothing that he cannot eradicate. His influence in the team is massive!
Our hosts tomorrow have been in sterling form. Although they too were knocked out of the Coupe de la Ligue in the week – by Montpellier – they are unbeaten in their last four league games, winning three in the process, one against Toulouse.
Argentinean Dario Cvitanich is their catalyst up front, netting eight goals in his last 11 outings in all competitions. He really has come to the fore since moving back to Europe from Boca Juniors in his homeland, having spent two seasons at Dutch giants Ajax.
PSG draw this encounter 0-0 last season but won the home clash thanks to two penalties by Nene and Kevin Gameiro in a 2-1 win. A similar scoreline tomorrow will be more than adequate and will be a nice follow-up to the last league game at home, a 4-0 win over Troyes.