Paris Saint-Germain VS FC Lorient
Venue: Parc des Princes
Date: 1st November 2013
Kick-Off: 19:30 (GMT)
Les Parisiens will have to make do without the talismanic Zlatan Ibrahimovic later tonight due to an injury he has picked up this week. But, when you have a €60m+ player in the same position, then there is no need to lose any sleep.
It is safe to say Edinson Cavani has had a more than steady start to his PSG career. Despite not being played in his more comfortable central position up top, he has managed to impose himself from the right-hand side in a front three with aplomb. He has certainly surprised a few who may have felt that this would have hindered his settling in period at the club. Yes, ‘El Matador’ would prefer to be playing through the middle on a regular basis but he still has the knack to use his predatory qualities as a striker to get in the box and find the back of the net. He has been very professional in terms of his play as well as his behaviour. He has not upset the apple cart and fair play to him. He has just got on with it. He is playing week in, week out and bagged an impressive tally of nine goals thus far. It is not bad is it?
Tonight, he will be the focal point in his more effective role as an out-and-out-striker. We may get to see just how good Cavani can be as the main protagonist up front. Add to the mix his good buddy Ezequiel Lavezzi playing off him on the left-hand side and it makes a tantalising recipe. If we are treated to anything of the sort they conjured up back in Naples then we are in for something special.
Zlatan is a huge miss, of course he is. But with all due respect to Lorient, it is not a bad time for him to be out. With a Champions League clash with Anderlect coming up on Tuesday, Laurent Blanc was always going to ring changes so Zlatan’s absence is a blessing in disguise really. Gives him the chance to recuperate and look to get back fit for the game with the Belgians where qualification to the last-16 can be sealed with a win. As well as that, it opens the door for a Lucas Moura or Jeremy Menez to come into the fold. It is likely Lavezzi will start but Blanc may be tempted to rest him also ahead of next week but it remains to be seen.
We are certain for some rotation in central midfield. Adrien Rabiot will most probably come in for Thiago Motta or Blaise Matuidi. Rabiot has impressed each time he has laced his boots this season with many of his appearances occurring just before European fixtures. As I have said countless times, he has a bright future in that midfield three but for the mean time Marco Verratti, Matuidi and Motta are there for the long haul.
Great news for Marquinhos this week as he received his first call-up to the Brazil national team for two friendlies in the USA and Canada at the back end of November. Although he had a bit of a mare last Sunday in Saint-Etienne, in no way does it blemish what has been a wonderful start to his Parisien career. It was a rocky road before he got to his debut but he has not looked back since. Wonderful for the lad, truly deserved and his words to the club’s Offical Website demonstrate his grounded nature; “I’m delighted to be called up to the national team. It’s a great surprise. I work very hard at training. I have always dreamed of this moment. I know how hard it is to break into the Brazil national team. I didn’t even know the coach was considering me. I am over the moon to be part of this squad which is like one incredible family. I have to keep working more and more to deserve to wear the yellow shirt of the selecao.”
Thiago Silva has also been called up despite only returning to training a few days ago following his thigh injury. We will have to keep an eye on that.
Three points tonight would not only extend our incredible unbeaten run, it will put us three points ahead of Monaco who face fellow title rivals Lille in a mouth-watering clash at the Metropole on Sunday.
SPECIAL MENTION TO THIAGO SILVA, EDINSON CAVANI AND ZLATAN FOR THEIR FIFA BALLON D’OR CANDIDACY WHICH WAS REVEALED THIS WEEK. SUPER ACHIEVEMENT AND GREAT NEWS FOR THE CLUB.