PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN VS LILLE OSC
VENUE: PARC DES PRINCES
DATE: 27TH JANUARY 2013
It would have been a pivotal fixture in last season’s title race but for Paris Saint-Germain and Lille, both have different agendas to one another this time around.
Whereas we seek to get back at the top of the tree and look to claim three valuable points, 2011 champions Lille are in a state of transition. After losing their marquee man Eden Hazard and moving into a beautiful new home the Grand Stade Lille Metropole, Rudi Garcia’s side are readjusting. They are lying in 10th place, 12 points off ourselves, and 15 points off leaders Lyon.
They have just come off the back of a 3-1 win away to minnows Plabennec in the Coupe de France but suffered two successive defeats prior to that. One in the league at home to high flying Nice and the other against Saint-Etienne on penalties in the semi-final of the Coupe de la Ligue, a bitterly disappointing night for Les Dogues.
They are only five points off a Europa League place but one thing they do like is consistency. The last time they achieved back to back victories was at the end of last October and the form has been blowing hot and cold ever since.
Dimitri Payet has been superb this season, netting seven goals in the process. There has been an over reliance on him as as well as 24-year-old Nolan Roux. The striker will lead the line on his own tomorrow night with Payet supporting from the left with either Saloman Kalou or one out of the two youngsters Gianni Bruno and Ronny Rodelin on the opposite side. Florent Balmont and Marvin Martin will contain the centre of midfield with Antonio Mavuba sitting just in front of the back-four.
There has been a lack of investment of late, no new arrivals this transfer window and full-back Mathieu Debuchy finally completed his move to England for €6.2m.
For us, the win in the Coupe de France against Toulouse was an impressive one. Even without a host of marquee names we coasted to a comfortable 3-1 win which was a joy to watch. The link-up play in the attacking third was excellent as Jeremy Menez tipped the balance in our way significantly when he came on at half-time.
He will of course be in contention tomorrow as too Zlatan Ibrahimovic who returns from suspension, and Thiago Motta. Kevin Gameiro is out however with a knock as is Zoumana Camara who joins centre-backs Thiago Silva and Alex on the treatment table. That means Sylvain Armand who was captain in midweek will once again partner Mamadou Sakho in centre of defence.
With Lyon winning on Friday night against Valenciennes, a win for us will send us back to the top via goal difference.