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Paris Saint-Germain - FC Lorient Preview: Star-studded hosts kick off Ligue 1 title bid
The new-look runners-up begin their quest for a first title in 19 years against the side who beat them in the corresponding fixture last season
By Mohammed Ali
Jallet, Alex, Sakho, Maxwell
Nene, Verratti, Lavezzi
Pedrinho. E Manga, Bourillon, Mareque
Mulumba, Romao, Coutadeur, Autret
Paris Saint-Germain commence their Ligue 1 title quest against the side who, incidentally, played them in both the first and last games of the previous season. It was Lorient who sealed a famous 1-0 win away to PSG in August 2011 before doing their best to deny the Parisians from the Ligue 1 title in a tempestous 2-1 defeat in May.
Carlo Ancelotti's men enter the new season with several new faces, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ezequiel Lavezzi are in line to make their French football debuts.
However, Thiago Silva remains in London on Olympic Games duty with Brazil, while Marco Verratti could start in place of the suspended Javier Pastore. Wantaway forward Nene, the club's top scorer last season, is nonetheless expected to be picked ahead of Jeremy Menez.
Lorient are without striker Joel Campbell, who returned to Arsenal this summer, but new arrival Ludovic Giuly could make the starting XI against his former side on Saturday, along with fellow new recruits Alain Traore and Innocent Emeghara.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Paris Saint-Germain have not won the Ligue 1 title since 1994, with Montpellier pipping them to the post in May.
- Carlo Ancelotti's men face FC Lorient on matchday one for the second season in a row. Julien Quercia's strike condemned PSG to a shock defeat.
- Les Parisiens are unbeaten at home in Ligue 1 since Ancelotti took over in January.
- Forward Nene scored 27 goals for PSG last season, more than any other player in France.
- FC Lorient ended the 2011-12 season in 17th position, staying up on the final day.
- Les Merlus have not lost an opening matchday fixture for five years.
- Christian Gourcuff's men have scored more goals at the Parc des Princes than at any other ground in France,
- Lorient were only one of two sides last season to beat PSG in the French capital.
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Top 3 Predictions
Paris Saint-Germain 3-0 FC Lorient
- 17.5 %
Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 FC Lorient
- 13.41 %
Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 FC Lorient
- 8.08 %
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Aug 11, 2012||Paris Saint-Germain 2 - FC Lorient 2|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||May 20, 2012||FC Lorient 1 - Paris Saint-Germain 2|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Aug 6, 2011||Paris Saint-Germain 0 - FC Lorient 1|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Apr 2, 2011||Paris Saint-Germain 0 - FC Lorient 0|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Nov 14, 2010||FC Lorient 1 - Paris Saint-Germain 1|
|May 18, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 3 - Stade Brestois 29 1||FRA1|
|May 12, 2013||Olympique Lyonnais 0 - Paris Saint-Germain 1||FRA1|
|May 5, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 1 - Valenciennes FC 1||FRA1|
|Apr 28, 2013||Evian Thonon Gaillard 0 - Paris Saint-Germain 1||FRA1|
|Apr 21, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 3 - OGC Nice 0||FRA1|
|Returns:||PSG £150.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Draw £45.00||Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
|Returns:||FC Lorient £510.00||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|8||Péguy Luyindula Makanda||Striker|
|5||Bruno Ecuele Manga||Defender|
|14||Arnaud Le Lan||Defender|
The Sweden international is bidding for a fifth league title in five countries, and his quest gets underway in the capital against Lorient. Ibrahimovic enjoyed a solid pre-season with the club, scoring against DC United and Barcelona, and generally appears to be gelling with his new team-mates. Lofty expectations have been made about the striker, who is tipped to get more than 20 goals this season. His first test awaits.
|Bruno Ecuele Manga|
The Gabonese defender will be among the first defences to test themselves against the attacking quality of PSG. The 24 year old had been touted for a move away from Lorient, but remained after a summer in London at the Olympic Games. Strong, powerful, and in a similar mould to Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Mamadou Sakho, Ecuele-Manga will be hoping to limit PSG on Saturday.
Whereas Lorient more or less rained on the PSG parade last season, the capital club will not want to relive the memory 12 months later. The hosts have undeniable quality in all areas following the lavish spending undertaken by QSI, aand they should really secure a comfortable win over a side who narrowly avoided relegation. 3-0.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed