Paris Saint-Germain VS Anderlect
Venue: Parc des Princes
Date: 5th November 2013
Kick-Off: 19:45 (GMT)
Laurent Blanc could put another feather in his cap tonight if Paris Saint-Germain beat Belgian champions Anderlect to secure qualification to the last-16 of the UEFA Champions League – with two games to spare.
The new gaffer has not put a foot wrong since he stepped through the door and tonight will be the biggest landmark of his brief tenure so far if all goes to plan. We have the best goal-scoring record in the competition thus far alongside Real Madrid with 12 goals. We have conceded the fewest goals – just the one – along with Barcelona and the champions of Europe Bayern Munich. And we have a 100% record as well after winning our opening three games.
In the grand scheme of things, qualifying tonight could play a big role in the title race. By being able to rest players in Europe up until Christmas that will give us a huge opportunity to really put our foot on the gas back home. Lille’s victory over Monaco on Sunday was huge. Not just for Les Dogues but for the title race as a whole. Lille are just two point off us and ASM have slipped to third – three points behind. It is becoming a three horse race as Marseille’s woes have seemingly putt them out of the picture. Still, it is a marathon not a sprint. Blanc will be aware of that and will be keen to get tonight done with no qualms. He realises just how big tonight is which will be a huge step in the recent history of Paris Saint-Germain. To qualify so convincingly should not be overlooked, it is mightily difficult to do it in this competition no matter who you face.
Mixed news on the injury front. Edinson Cavani is out after suffering some pain in his thigh after Friday’s 4-0 drubbing of FC Lorient. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is back in the squad but Blanc was a little cagey about his involvement. He said in yesterday’s pre-match presser; “For Ibra, it’s not a serious injury, but it might end up being serious. That’s why we are being careful and why he didn’t play against Lorient”. Good news though is that Thiago Silva is back in the squad after a month and half out.
After their 5-0 beating two weeks ago at the hand of Zlatan, the Belgians will try their best to stifle us in front of our own fans. But, it would be a monumental surprise if we do not seal qualification tonight and a huge opportunity missed. And I doubt Blanc will allow that to happen.