The result last Tuesday night away to Saint-Etienne was just the kind of boost the football club needed after the hysteria regarding matters off the pitch and of course that bitter defeat in Corsica a few days prior. Now, we must capitalise on that win and get our league form back on track starting today with a victory away to Evian.
Leaders Olympique Lyonnais are not messing about! Their 2-0 win away to Lens last night has opened up a seven point lead over us. That is a huge gap. Whether we have a game in hand or not, it does not make pleasant reading. It is a similar position to what we were last October when Marseille had an eight-point gap but we managed to catch them up. But, when a team has a man in form like Alexandre Lacazette as Lyon do, then you can ill afford any more slip-ups.
Laurent Blanc knows this. His start to 2015 has been turbulent but he was in buoyant mood in yesterday’s pre-match presser as he announced that he has a full strength squad to choose from (minus Serge Aurier who is on international duty). Blanc said; “We are heading into this match in the best possible way. It’s the first time in a long time we have had a full-strength squad to choose from. In fact, I’m not sure it’s happened once since the start of the season. This weekend, all the players are in top physical form. Overall, we have worked very hard and we are starting to see the results now. I feel the players are motivated and in really good shape. The fact that we beat Saint-Etienne and qualified for the semi-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue has given us a boost to help prepare for this Evian clash. It’s a match that we need to win, because we need the three points, even if we know it will be another tough opponent, like all the opponents of Paris Saint-Germain since the start of the season”.
Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani have been named in the squad again – as they were for Saint-Etienne but eventually didn’t make the matchday cut. It remains to be seen if that happens again of course but it would be a surprise. Blanc revealed that the two are still ‘important’ players to the club but not all is forgotten. There is still an evident sense of discontent between the coach and the two South Americans.
We are up against an Evian side that sit in the bottom three; just like Bastia last weekend. They are one of the most inconsitent teams in the league. L’ETG can go on a run of continuous defeats but then all of a sudden pull up tress with an impressive winning sequence. There is no in-between with them.
The 0-0 draw we had back in August was one of the most uninspiring PSG performances in recent times. And that is saying something when you consider the number of them we have had on the road in recent years. We missed Zlatan Ibrahimovic massively on the night and Yohan Cabaye’s red card did not help matters either. At the Parc last season we managed a 1-0 win thanks to Blaise Matuidi’s winner a minute from time and although we do not want to wait that long this time around, a result like that will be good enough!
It is all about three points today. We have to win!