Nantes - Paris Saint-Germain Preview: Blanc seeking first Ligue 1 win in charge of champions
The free-spending French title-holders have made a stuttering start to the defence of their crown, drawing 1-1 with both Montpellier and Ajaccio in their opening two fixtures
By Nicholas McGee
The defending Ligue 1 champions have made a disappointing start to the new season and sit in the bottom half of the table after consecutive 1-1 draws against Montpellier and Ajaccio.
Edinson Cavani scored his first goal for the club in the stalemate with Ajaccio last week, but PSG were left frustrated as they failed to turn a dominant performance into three points.
This Sunday, they face a Nantes outfit whose return to the top flight has been marred by controversy.
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Paris Saint-Germain are 16/1 with BetVictor to win the Premier League
However, the Brittany club face having those points taken away for fielding a suspended player, following the introduction of Abdoulaye Toure in the second half of that win two weeks ago.
That disappointment arising from that error has since been compounded by a 2-1 defeat to local rivals Lorient, with Der Zakarian's side failing to hold on to a lead given to them by Fabien Audard's first-half own goal.
And Nantes look set to struggle to gain their second win of the season against a PSG side that, despite their stuttering start, remains undefeated in their last 13 Ligue 1 outings.
Head-to-head form is stacked in favour of Blanc's men, as the team for the capital have won the last three meetings between the two sides, and eased to a 4-1 victory in their previous clash at the Stade de la Beaujoire in February 2009.
PSG also go into the game with few injury worries. Winger Jeremy Menez (back) is not expected to return until September 14 - when PSG travel to Bordeaux - but midfielder Blaise Matuidi could feature after making a swift recovery after a clash of heads with Ajaccio defender Joshua Nadeau.
However, Nantes have a fully-fit squad to choose from, with midfielder Jordan Veretout - a member of France's FIFA Under-20 World Cup winning squad - set to return from suspension, after being dismissed against Bastia.
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Nantes 0-2 Paris St. Germain (PSG)
- 16.52 %
FC Nantes 1-3 Paris St. Germain (PSG)
- 14.16 %
FC Nantes 0-3 Paris St. Germain (PSG)
- 13.72 %
|Ligue 1 (Lig1)||25 Aug 2013||FC Nantes 1 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 2|
|Ligue 1 (Lig1)||7 Feb 2009||FC Nantes 1 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 4|
|Ligue 1 (Lig1)||14 Sep 2008||Paris St. Germain (PSG) 1 - FC Nantes 0|
|Ligue 1 (Lig1)||21 Apr 2007||Paris St. Germain (PSG) 4 - FC Nantes 0|
|Ligue 1 (Lig1)||26 Nov 2006||FC Nantes 1 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 1|
|17 Dec 2013||FC Nantes 1 - AJ Auxerre 0||FRLC|
|14 Dec 2013||FC Nantes 1 - Toulouse FC 2||Lig1|
|6 Dec 2013||Olympique de Marseille 0 - FC Nantes 1||Lig1|
|3 Dec 2013||FC Nantes 2 - Valenciennes FC 1||Lig1|
|30 Nov 2013||EA Guingamp 1 - FC Nantes 0||Lig1|
|Paris St. Germain (PSG)|
|14 Dec 2013||Rennes 1 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 3||Lig1|
|10 Dec 2013||Benfica 2 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 1||UCL|
|7 Dec 2013||Paris St. Germain (PSG) 5 - FC Sochaux-Montbéliard 0||Lig1|
|4 Dec 2013||Evian Thonon Gaillard 2 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 0||Lig1|
|1 Dec 2013||Paris St. Germain (PSG) 4 - Olympique Lyonnais 0||Lig1|
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|23||Gregory van der Wiel||Defender|