Nantes Preview: Ibrahimovic Returns But Should He Start?

Nantes Preview: Ibrahimovic Returns But Should He Start?


Laurent Blanc has a decision to make tomorrow night. Does he include Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his starting-XI? The big Swede is back from his domestic suspension and will be in contention for a starting berth. It is more than likely that that LB will put him back into the side but should he?

Paris Saint-Germain have netted 12 goals in the last three league games and the football has been absolutely mesmeric at times. The chemistry of the front three in particular has been sensational. Edinson Cavani has been in form during Zlatan’s absence which reemphasis the point of him playing better as the lone man when his teammate is not present. Four goals in those last three games against Nice, Lille and Metz backs that argument up. The Uruguayan’s goal in particular against Metz epitomised his renaissance as of late as he had the confidence to drive forward with the ball before executing a lovely finish.

We know Ibra loves to drop deep and there lies a problem. Javier Pastore can do this role better than anyone. He has been stunning in that so called ‘number 10’ position so Ibra’s desire to undertake that responsibility is pointless. Cavani will stay up top and do his fair share of running. Ezequiel Lavezzi is another hitting a purple patch as of late. To be honest, that front three at this moment in time (Cavani, Lavezzi, Pastore) is indispensable. So the call will be huge from Monsieur Blanc if one of those is dropped for the 33-year-old. Unfortunately for El Pocho (Lavezzi), it will most probably be him.

You can certainly make a case for Lucas Moura to potentially start ahead of Zlatan. The little Brazilian looked so sharp when he came on last Tuesday. On another night his contribution may have resulted in a few more goals.

In his pre-match presser earlier, the coach did not give anything away in regards to Ibrahimovic starting the match but did praise his attitude. He said; “Zlatan has worked very hard throughout his suspension. He can’t wait to get back on the pitch, to play, to win, and obviously, to score. He is another option for us”.

It is going to be a hostile atmosphere at the Stade de la Beaujoire as per. Nantes are currently in mid-table, coming off the back of a 1-1 draw with Toulouse and just before that a 1-0 victory against Olympique de Marseille. We have already met twice this season, once in the league and the other in the Coupe de France – winning both!

Another victory would be welcome of course as Lyon – having played a game more – went back to the top of the table earlier on goal difference as they downed Evian.

David Luiz and Serge Aurier are both out. Salvatore Sirigu returns.

Leave a Reply