Le Classique kicks off a gruelling yet exhilarating few weeks for Paris Saint-Germain. Four massive games! All season defining. This is quite possibly PSG’s most exciting period in its 45-year history. There is a chance to set a precedent. Achieve something no other French club has ever done. The opportunity to win a domestic treble! And not forgetting that after the heroics against Chelsea, there is no reason not to dream about upsetting Barcelona.
Some of the lads are still on international duty and will resume with the group later this week. The Brazilian contingent and Edinson Cavani returned to Camp des Loges yesterday. Then there is Lucas Moura who continues his recovery after six weeks out. Coach Laurent Blanc will be delighted to have a number of key players back ahead of the trip to the south of France.
I remember saying back in November that the meeting back then was the biggest in years; but I think this one may trump it. OM were top of the table back then but our 2-0 win closed the gap to just a point, thus maintaining a consistent run over our rivals by notching a sixth straight win in all competitions.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men though can leapfrog us with a win. They are buoyed by their 0-4 victory over Lens just before the break and not to mention a 1-6 thrashing away at Toulouse. Then there was that 0-0 draw at the Velodrome against Lyon where they should have probably obtained all three points when Lucas Ocampos’ bundled effort appeared to cross the line – only for the referee to deem otherwise. Had that gone in, we would be level on points with them right now.
It is imperative that we get a result. Anything but will be detrimental, especially with this run in we have. Three days after the classique, we take on Saint-Etienne in the Coupe de France semi-final. The FFF refused Nasser Al-Khelaifi’s request to move the game to a later date, leading to the club releasing a defiant statement declaring the team’s ambition to give their all in each competition. This was more to ease any doubts the fans may have had at any favouritism the club may have towards a particular piece of silverware.
The weekend after, matters turn to the Coupe de la Ligue Final against Bastia. It is a repeat of the 1995 showpiece. Victory there will not only retain the cup but we would head into the game with La Liga leaders Barcelona just a few days later with a trophy in our locker.
So many games, so many incentives! It is incredibly exciting for anyone affiliated with Paris Saint-Germain but first thing’s first; we need a result in the classique!