Paris Saint-Germain vs FCG Bordeaux
Paris Saint-Germain will be without a recognised striker tomorrow with Zlatan Ibrahimovic still recovering from his injury woes and Edinson Cavani suspended after last week’s red card. So Laurent Blanc has a decision to make. Either play Jean-Christophe Bahebeck through the middle as the striker. Or depend on a returning Ezequiel Lavezzi who has just come back from his hamstring injury that he picked up in the 2-0 win over Caen last month.
It is a conundrum as we are facing a good side in Bordeaux. Willy Sagnol has implemented an attractive brand of football that sees them sitting just behind us in third place (and level on points with 18). Does the coach utilise a conventional 4-3-3? Or perhaps a 4-2-3-1 to give added support to the man playing up top through the middle – whoever that maybe? In either case, the player who will play in that position is not a recognised striker. I have eluded to this a few times that PSG needs another striker. Two is just not enough, even if one of them is Ibra and the other is a €60m South American. Last weekend was unfortunate for Cavani, especially after he netted the winner in Cyprus on Tuesday. That was a massive goal, one of his most important in a Parisien shirt. It sets us well on our way to qualify for the last-16 in the UCL, with every opportunity of finishing top ahead of Barcelona (if things go our way of course).
Javier Pastore perhaps had his most uninspiring performance of the season against APOEL in midweek. I feel guilty to even say that as he has been our best player this season in an attacking sense and his turnaround has been quite remarkable. He will be key in aiding the supporting cast tomorrow as he always is. Lucas Moura will start, as will Bahebeck and Lavezzi – you would think. We will have to be intricate and rely on pure pace to get the better of FCGB.
Their only two defeats this season in the league have come on the road. It has been against sides struggling at the bottom of the table, one at the beginning of the month in Reims and the other against Guingamp. Their most impressive victory was that 4-1 demolition of Monaco that made everyone in France sit up and take notice. It was a no contest. The glamour club from Monte Carlo were obliterated with Diego Rolan netting a brace.
The Uruguayan is joint top-scorer this season with Cheick Diabate who netted the opener in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Caen at the Stade-Chaban Delmas. But they were pegged back by an intelligent finish by Herve Bazile as he spotted Cedric Carrasso off his line and placed the ball into the net after some neat interplay with his skipper Julien Feret. Sagnol had a meeting with his players during the week as he has not been impressed with the dip in form in the last few weeks but categorically played down any such “crisis talk”. Rightfully so, his side are third in the table. He has also said in the build-up to this clash that he wants his players to “take risks” to win. It will be a good open game if his side emulates what Monaco did a few weeks back on their visit to the Parc.
Blaise Matuidi told the club’s Official Site that he expects Les Girondins to have a go, but not be gung-ho out of respect to their opposition; “They will be coming to Paris without any pressure. Their coach likes to play attractive football, so we will be taking on a side that looks to attack. We enjoy it, because it means good, spectacular matches with space to play. We like playing against sides that try to attack. But I don’t think they’ll be taking too many risks, because they will be up against Paris Saint-Germain all the same. It will be up to us to have control of the ball and to play well and try and score without conceding”.
Laurent Blanc will be up against his former club as well as a former French international in the opposite dugout. The ingredients are there for a real good contest