Ligue 1 Preview: Paris Saint-Germain - Montpellier
The host takes on the side that beat it to last year's title, as the capital club hopes for a smooth victory ahead of its much-anticipated Champions League quarterfinal.
By Mohammed Ali
Van der Wiel, Alex, Thiago Silva, Maxwell
Lucas Moura, Matuidi, Verratti, Pastore
Congre, Hilton, El Kaoutari, Bedimo
Camara, Belhanda, Utaka
Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti has insisted his side's focus remains on Montpellier for now, despite the prospect of a Champions League quarterfinal against Barcelona on the horizon.
Nevertheless, the Italian trainer is likely to field his strongest possible side, as he aims to pull further clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table as we enter the final phase of the season.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was cleared to play in Tuesday's game by UEFA, and he'll also start against the champion on Friday evening, with Lucas Moura set to recover from the ankle problem he suffered three weeks ago against Nancy.
David Beckham is unlikely to feature having just returned from an ambassadorial trip to China, with Marco Verratti set to hold off Clement Chantome for a starting berth.
Outgoing Montpellier coach Rene Girard has no fresh injury worries, though his side appears considerably weaker when compared to the 1-1 draw the champion managed against PSG in November. Abdelhamid El Kaoutari's run in defense continues, as Daniel Congre maintains his position in an unfamiliar right back role.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Paris Saint-Germain's hopes of securing a first Ligue 1 title since 1994 look good, as it sits seven points clear of challenger Lyon, with just 24 left on offer.
- Les Parisiens have won just two of their last 11 games against Montpellier at the Parc des Princes.
- Nevertheless, PSG has found the net in each of the last 11 games against the champion.
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been involved in more than half of his side's goals in Ligue 1 - with 25 goals and five assists (30 out of 53).
- Montpellier sits seventh in Ligue 1 after a fantastic recent run of form catapulted it to within six points of third-place Marseille. It has not won its last two games, however.
- The champion has scored in all but one of its last 14 away fixtures in Ligue 1 this season.
- Montpellier's last five league games at the Parc des Princes have seen an average of 4.6 goals a game.
Top 3 Predictions
PSG 2-0 Montpellier HSC
- 12.77 %
PSG 1-1 Montpellier HSC
- 12.77 %
PSG 2-1 Montpellier HSC
- 12.25 %
|Coupe de France (FRAC)||Jan 22, 2014||PSG 1 - Montpellier HSC 2|
|Ligue 1 (Lig1)||Aug 9, 2013||Montpellier HSC 1 - PSG 1|
|Ligue 1 (Lig1)||Mar 29, 2013||PSG 1 - Montpellier HSC 0|
|Ligue 1 (Lig1)||Nov 11, 2012||Montpellier HSC 1 - PSG 1|
|Ligue 1 (Lig1)||Feb 19, 2012||PSG 2 - Montpellier HSC 2|
|Mar 8, 2014||SC Bastia 0 - PSG 3||Lig1|
|Mar 2, 2014||PSG 2 - Marseille 0||Lig1|
|Feb 23, 2014||Toulouse FC 2 - PSG 4||Lig1|
|Feb 18, 2014||Leverkusen 0 - PSG 4||UCL|
|Feb 14, 2014||PSG 3 - Valenciennes FC 0||Lig1|
|23||Gregory van der Wiel||Defender|
|5||Vitorino Hilton da Silva||Defender|
|21||Abdelhamid El Kaoutari||Defender|
Times In EDT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed