PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN VS OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS
VENUE: PARC DES PRINCES
DATE: 16TH DECEMBER 2012
KICK-OFF: 20:00 (GMT)
It is the biggest game of the season for Paris Saint-Germain tonight with the chance to go top of Ligue 1, just a week shy of the last set of fixtures before the winter break.
The visit of the league leaders Olympique Lyonnais who sit three points above us, have an inferior goal difference to ours and if we are able to accumulate all three points, it will stand us in good stead to finish the year as ‘Winter Champions’, just like we did last fall.
The 4-0 drubbing away to Valenciennes was without question one of our finer moments of the season. The team excelled in the 4-4-2 system with Javier Pastore putting in yet another sterling display, something Carlo Ancelotti has greatly recognised – not only from El Flaco but the team in general. He said during yesterday’s pre-match presser; “In our last few matches, I’ve been very happy with the personality and the confidence my players have shown. Naturally, we have to continue in this vein and maintain a good attitude. Pastore has hit his stride in the last few matches. He has helped the team to defend and he’s a completely different player now.”
One player who is not in the good books of Carlo is Nene. Yet again he is not in the matchday squad and is apparently injured. However, the Brazilian posted a photo of himself on social networking sites at an ice rink on Friday night leading to questions as to whether or not he is actually injured or it is just a cover-up story. As I said earlier this week, his row with Leonardo as well as his frustration at not being offered a new contract, may very well see him moved on next month.
Also, missing for Les Parisiens are Alex, Mathieu Bodmer, Guillaume Hoarau and Momo Sissoko all through injury. As for the league leaders they will travel to the capital without Jimmy Briand, Clement Grenier, Yoann Gourcuff, Alexandre Lacazette and Mouhamadou Dabo who is suspended.
Les Gones have only lost two games all season, scoring 30 goals in the process, 10 coming from striker Bafetimbi Gomis. They are the league’s second highest top scorers, just two behind us (32) and will pose a major threat as Michel Bastos and Alexandre Lacazette spring down the flanks, supplying lone striker Gomis.
Ancelotti is under no illusions that tonight is an important test in his team’s quest for the league title; “Lyon are a competitive side. They’re strong and they have a lot of experience. Valenciennes were a good test. It was the first time we showed a good dose of personality in a match away from home. The test we’re facing on Sunday will be important, because our opponents are one of the sides who will be fighting it out for the title.”