When Laurent Blanc said he would be mixing things up for the clash with Guingamp today he was not kidding! Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, David Luiz, Angel di Maria, Maxwell, Thiago Motta, Thiago Silva, Marco Verratti and Javier Pastore have all been left in Paris ahead of next week’s trip to Manchester.
In their place is a host of youngsters who will be chomping at the bit. Blanc confirmed in his pre-match presser that he would be rotating the squad and to expect new faces. As quoted by the club’s official site he said; “Against Guingamp, there will be a couple of new faces. But we’ll be going to Guingamp with a team capable of winning, the same way we do for every away game, with all the respect we have for our opponents. We’ve earned the right to rotate the squad. We played a match three days ago and there is another one, a very important one, in three days from now. The priority is to avoid injuries while including players who have already been out of action. We will try to play it by ear, as we always do. But it won’t stop us from fielding a side that has the intention of winning in Guingamp.”
Judging by how much we tired after Man City equalised in the final quarter of the game last Wednesday, then this is not a bad idea from the coach. We are chasing the tie and more or less have to win at the Etihad in order to book our place in the semi-final.
But the gaffer was in bullish mood by proclaiming that his team will get the job done. LB; “The quality of my team and of my players leads me to believe that we can turn it around. In the first leg, we expected ourselves to play much better. We were average, doubtless because of the players, the coach, Manchester CitY. They were good, especially in attack, but I have the feeling that we should have won. We should have opened the scoring, but we didn’t manage it and then we conceded that goal. Had we won 3-2 or 2-1, it wouldn’t have been an unfair result. We can do it and we will do it! Believing is my job.”
The last time we travelled to the Stade du Roudourou the hosts inflicted a 1-0 defeat thanks to a goal from Jeremy Pied.