TOULOUSE FOOTBALL CLUB VS PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
VENUE: STADIUM MUNICIPAL
DATE: 1ST February 2013
Kick-Off: 19:30 (GMT)
In the midst of Beckham mania that has swept Paris in the last 24 hours or so, you could be forgiven for forgetting that the club actually has a game tonight against Toulouse.
The furore surrounding the arrival of the former England captain has been that big that even Carlo Ancelotti’s pre-match presser had to be cancelled yesterday for the preparation of near 200 journalists within the world’s media to witness Beckham’s unveiling at the Parc des Princes. On top of that, the club were busy shipping players out on loan. Adrien Rabiot has gone to tonight’s opponents TFC, Momo Sissoko has gone back to Italy with Fiorentina and a surprising one with Mathieu Bodmer joining Coup de la Ligue finalists Saint-Etienne. All three deals are only to the end of the season.
Taking Monsieur Beckham out of the equation for the time being (an in depth article will be on site today regarding his move), Les Parisiens can open up a three point gap at the top of the table with a win. Lyon who are level on points with us travel to Ajaccio on Sunday whereas Marseille who lurk just behind are at home to Nancy. You will feel that both will rack up maximum points so a win for us at the Stadium Municipal is imperative.
Both sides met nine days ago in the last-32 of the Coupe de France which we won comfortably in the end, 3-1. Toulouse offered very little in the form of attack but it would be naive to think that it will be the case again. On their day they are a match for anyone but the loss of their central midfielder Moussa Sissoko to Newcastle United is a huge blow. Nevertheless, with Wissam Ben Yedder leading the line – he started on the bench at the Parc against us last week – they have the capability of scoring goals, and he’s bagged nine already this campaign.
As for us, we will still have to make do without skipper Thiago Silva and Alex. That means Sylvain Armand and Mamadou Sakho will continue in central defence as the man behind them Salvatore Sirigu looks to prolong his club record of minutes without conceding. Thiago Motta is out after picking up an injury last weekend so Marco Verratti or Clement Chantome will come in alongside Blaise Matuidi.
We won this fixture last season thanks to an inspired Javier Patore who set up two late goals for Mevlut Erding and Kevin Gameiro in a 3-1 win.