Paris Saint-Germain-Nice Preview: Ancelotti's side aim to recover from cup exit as title looms
The capital club suffered a shock defeat in midweek, and hope to recover in the best possible way against this season's surprise package to move closer to that elusive trophy
By Mohammed Ali
Van der Wiel, Thiago Silva, Alex, Maxwell
Lucas Moura, Verratti, Matuidi, Pastore
Genevois, Civelli, Pecjinovic, Kolodziecak
Bahoken, Meriem, Pied
Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti has no pressing injury issues ahead of the visit of high-flyers Nice to the Parc des Princes, but is set to field his strongest side after Wednesday's shock Coupe de France exit to Evian.
The Italian trainer slammed his "self-important" players following the penalty shootout defeat, with the aim now being to seal the Ligue 1 title at the earliest possible opportunity.
Both Marco Verratti and Maxwell should return to the fray, replacing Thiago Motta and Sylvain Armand.
Nice coach Claude Puel, meanwhile, sees a handful of important players suspended for the trip to the capital, though top goalscorer Dario Cvitanich makes the trip.
Alexy Bosetti and Eric Bautheac are both suspended, with Valentin Eysseric - scorer in the reverse fixture earlier this season - serving a rest-of-the-season ban. Neal Maupay is out for six months with a knee injury.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Paris Saint-Germain sit top of Ligue 1 with 67 points, nine clear of Marseille and with the best tally at this stage since Lyon five years ago.
- The hosts have won their last three league games without conceding a goal.
- Les Parisiens were knocked out of the Coupe de France by relegation-threatened Evian on Wednesday going down 4-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
- Nice have lost just three of their last 15 encounters against PSG.
- Dario Cvitanich is the club's top scorer with 14. One more would see him surpass the club's best tally in their current spell in Ligue 1 - held by Bakary Kone and Loic Remy.
- Sunday's visitors have scored seven goals in their last two encounters.
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Top 3 Predictions
Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 OGC Nice
- 22.06 %
Paris Saint-Germain 3-0 OGC Nice
- 12.9 %
Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 OGC Nice
- 9.91 %
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Nov 9, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 3 - OGC Nice 1|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Apr 21, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 3 - OGC Nice 0|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Dec 1, 2012||OGC Nice 2 - Paris Saint-Germain 1|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Feb 12, 2012||OGC Nice 0 - Paris Saint-Germain 0|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Sep 21, 2011||Paris Saint-Germain 2 - OGC Nice 1|
|Dec 10, 2013||Benfica 2 - Paris Saint-Germain 1||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 5 - FC Sochaux 0||FRA1|
|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|
|23||Gregory van der Wiel||Defender|
|-||Mahamane El Hadji Traoré||Midfielder|
The Sweden international was criticised for his lethargic display against Evian on Wednesday, and will want to now push on in the final stretch of the campaign to seal honours for Paris Saint-Germain. With 26 strikes in Ligue 1, it has been a successful season for the 31-year-old whose goals have propelled the hosts to top spot. He needs a big performance to shake off the recent malaise.
The Serbian defender has come on leaps and bounds for the visitors this season, and is now being regarded as one of the best stoppers outside the big four in France. Calm at the back and a strong threat from set-pieces, Pejcinovic highlighted his quality in the two sides' earlier league fixture back in December. Can he do the same on Sunday?
A tough game on paper for the hosts, with Nice posing a significant threat this season, especially from counterattacks. But nevertheless, the visitors are depleted, with their most creative players suspended from the encounter. PSG should win narrowly, as they frequently have of late.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed