Paris Saint-Germain - Ajaccio Preview: Leaders aiming to restart league season with win over strugglers
Carlo Ancelotti's men will be hoping to pick up where they left off in 2012 at the top of Ligue 1, as they welcome a beleaguered Corsican side to the capital
By Mohammed Ali
Jallet, Thiago Silva, Sakho, Maxwell
Chantome, Motta, Matuidi
Maire, Lippini, Poulard, Bouhours
Andre, Cavalli, Sammaritano
Paris Saint-Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti will ring the changes as the league leaders welcome Ajaccio to the Parc des Princes.
Thiago Silva should return ahead of Zoumana Camara in defence, following the 4-3 victory over fifth-division Arras in the Coupe de France. Thiago Motta could be preferred to Marco Verratti in midfield, as Ancelotti continues to deploy his faith in Clement Chantome.
New signing Lucas Moura played in the 5-1 win over Lekhwiya in Doha last Wednesday, and will make his Ligue 1 debut for the capital club alongside Ezequiel Lavezzi behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
For Ajaccio, coach Albert Emon will also recall a number of first team players after their shock penalty shoot-out defeat to amateur side Rouen in the Coupe de France. However, up to five players will be lost to the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, which could hinder their already slim chances in this match.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Paris Saint-Germain sit joint-top of Ligue 1 on goal difference, though remain locked on 38 points with Olympique Lyonnais and Olympique de Marseille.
- The capital club have won all of their seven games since a 2-1 defeat to Nice on December 1.
- Carlo Ancelotti's men have so far scored nine goals in two matches in 2013.
- PSG won this fixture 4-1 back in March 2012, thanks to goals from Javier Pastore, Jeremy Menez, Nene and the now-departed Guillaume Hoarau.
- AC Ajaccio's Ligue 1 season so far sees them in 16th place, only three points above the drop zone.
- The Corsican club have won just once away to the Parc des Princes - a 4-2 victory in 2006.
- Adrian Mutu remains 14 goals behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG) in the top scorer standings, despite promising to beat his tally.
- A defeat to PSG on Friday night will see Ajaccio lose three league games in a row for the first time since November 2011.
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Top 3 Predictions
Paris Saint-Germain 3-0 AC Ajaccio
- 14.64 %
Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 AC Ajaccio
- 12.75 %
Paris Saint-Germain 4-0 AC Ajaccio
- 10.98 %
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Aug 18, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 1 - AC Ajaccio 1|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Jan 11, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 0 - AC Ajaccio 0|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Aug 19, 2012||AC Ajaccio 0 - Paris Saint-Germain 0|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Mar 4, 2012||Paris Saint-Germain 4 - AC Ajaccio 1|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Oct 16, 2011||AC Ajaccio 1 - Paris Saint-Germain 3|
|Dec 4, 2013||Evian Thonon Gaillard 2 - Paris Saint-Germain 0||FRA1|
|Dec 1, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 4 - Olympique Lyonnais 0||FRA1|
|Nov 27, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 2 - Olympiakos Piraeus 1||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Stade de Reims 0 - Paris Saint-Germain 3||FRA1|
|Nov 9, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 3 - OGC Nice 1||FRA1|
|1||Francisco Guillermo Ochoa||Goalkeeper|
|11||Karim El Hany||Striker|
|-||Wilfried Aimeric Zahibo||Midfielder|
The Sweden international sits only three goals behind last year's top scorers Olivier Giroud and Nene with 18 goals so far, and with still half the season to go, it is no surprise that Zlatan has been setting French football alight. Having notched the most goals in the first half of the season since Vahid Halilhodzic in 1984-85, the 31-year-old will have his eyes set on adding to that tally on Friday evening.
|Francisco Guillermo Ochoa|
The Mexican international has come to Ajaccio's rescue on more than one occasion this season so far, but with he club steadily throwing away their decent start and sliding towards relegation, the custodian will once again have to come good. Similar in play to his opposite number Salvatore Sirigu, Ochoa possesses great reflex ability. Will want to replicate the heroics that saw him contribute to a 0-0 draw between these sides back in August.
The capital club have shrugged off their "crisis", and have won their last seven games in all competitions with comparative ease. They begin 2013 at the top of the table, just like last year and will want to maintain their recent good form. Ajaccio will be hard done by with key players heading to South Africa, but it should really be an easy PSG victory.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed