PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN VS EVIAN THONON GALLARD
VENUE: PARC DES PRINCES
DATE: 8TH DECEMBER 2012
KICK-OFF: 16:00 (GMT)
Sitting in fourth place, five points off the top, Paris Saint-Germain simply need to beat Evian tomorrow afternoon.
It does not matter as to how the victory occurs, as long as it does. Five points behind Lyon with a matter of weeks before the winter break is not ideal. It is imperative to keep up the pace on them before our meeting a week on Sunday at the Parc des Princes.
They themselves have a stern test this weekend with a clash away to Saint-Etienne who have title ambitions of their own. It is that congested at the top that a win for Les Verts could put them within two points of the leaders.
Regardless of that, we have our own job to do. The win on Tuesday over Porto in the Champions League was mightily impressive. Despite a helping hand from Brazilian goalkeeper Hleton, a 2-1 win was enough to win the group ahead of next week’s last-16 draw.
The manner of the win and the character shown after a dreadful couple of weeks was the most impressive aspect. Carlo Ancelotti utilised a 4-4-2 with Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore both out wide, which worked a treat. It certainly got the best out of Pastore who lit up the Parc and looked rejuvenated. Something we had not seen for some time.
Without being disrespectful to Evian, Carlo may feel that they do not carry that much of a threat to pack the midfield with his normally accustomed trio. Maybe giving the 4-4-2 another trial will be on his agenda, handing Pastore a consecutive start. Lavezzi was superb down the right and he seems to be getting better with each passing game. You will feel that he will start and Jeremy Menez and Zlatan (of course) will lead the line of attack.
The bad news for us is that Marco Verratti and Blaise Matuid are suspended. Matuidi is indispensible to the side and he will be a loss. Clement Chantome will most likely keep his place with Thiago Motta possibly coming into line-up after he was named in the squad. The Brazilian born Italian international has not played since September, plagued by injury and his return is a welcome boost. Momo Sissoko and Mathieu Bodmer are both out leaving Carlo thin on the ground in central midfield.
Our opponents tomorrow sit just above the relegation places but are unbeaten in their last four, even beating Rennes in the process. Their away from is better than their home record. Winning just one at the Parc des Sports, L’ETG have won three on the road.
They are buoyed by the return of fit-again Tunisian striker Saber Khelifa. He missed nearly two months due to injury, netting five before his season was brought to a halt.