PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN VS MONTPELLIER HSC
VENUE: PARC DES PRINCES
DATE: 29TH MARCH 2013
KICK-OFF: 19:30 (GMT)
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It is a game in which I will be attending tonight and a game in which Paris Saint-Germain can go eight points clear with a win. But, with Catalan giants FC Barcelona set for a rendezvous next Tuesday for the most anticipated fixture in nearly 20 years for Les Parisiens, will minds be fixated on the job in hand?
French champions Montpellier are in town and although they have not been able to replicate anything near the miracle they pulled off last season, they have come into a bit of form after a rocky start to the campaign. They are now currently sitting in seventh place, just four points off a European spot. It is an amazing turnaround – champions or not – for a team that was 14th when we met them last November and flirting with the bottom three. They have won three of their last five and are steadily climbing the table.
We on the other hand have aspirations of gaining a real foot hold on top spot. With Lyon and Marseille not playing till Sunday, it is a real chance to crank the pressure on them. But, we have been here before, missing the boat when we could have extended our tally at the top. You only just have to go back to two weeks ago in Saint-Etienne. We were fantastic in the first-half, opened up a two-goal lead, but ended up with a point. Even though a draw would have seemed more than feasible prior to kick-off, we put ourselves in a terrific place but subsequently succumbed to the resolute Les Verts.
Concentration was lacking for 45 minutes on that night and we need to make sure that it does not happen again, especially with Lionel Messi and Barcelona coming to the French capital on Tuesday night.
It is quite simply the biggest match for PSG since the heady days in the mid-90’s. Nearly one million people enquired for tickets for the home clash. Amazing when you think that the Parc des Princes only caters 49,000 people. Another indication as too how much this football club has grown in the last 18-months.
It will be interesting to see if the international break plays a part in the fitness of the players. Ezequiel Lavezzi has been left out of the squad for that very reason after travelling to Bolivia with Argentina. An exhausting trip, considering the altitude. Carlo Ancelotti felt it was only fair that he sits this one out. Thiago Motta is also out due to another injury set-back. The midfielder has been plagued all season by injury and it will be unlikely that he will be fit for Tuesday either.
Marco Verratti is back after his suspension and he will partner Blaise Matuidi in central midfield. Jeremy Menez will more than likely come in for Lavezzi to accompany Lucas Moura and Javier Pastore as Zlatan Ibrahimovic leads the line.
I will be in full voice at the Parc tonight, let us hope that the boys deliver! Allez PSG!