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Ligue 1

  • November 11, 2012
  • • 20:00
  • • Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
  • Referee: C. Turpin
  • • Attendance: 22242
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Montpellier - Paris Saint-Germain Preview: Ancelotti's men look to exact title revenge on hosts

Rene Girard's side welcome the team that they thrillingly beat to the Ligue 1 title last season, as they look to reinvigorate the faltering defence of their crown

  PROBABLE LINE-UPS
MONTPELLIER

Jourdren
Bocaly, Congre, Hilton, Bedimo
Saihi,
Stambouli
Cabella, Belhanda, Mounier
Camara

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN

Sirigu
Van der Wiel, Alex, T. Silva, Maxwell
Verratti, Motta, Matuidi
Pastore, Menez
Hoarau


Montpellier continue to be without captain and key defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who is serving the last of his five-match ban against Paris Saint-Germain at Stade de la Mosson. Karim Ait Fana is also sidelined after suffering a serious knee injury, which will see him out for six months.

Souleymane Camara should spearhead the attack, with John Utaka or Anthony Mounier fighting it out for a starting berth on the flanks. Marco Estrada's off-field problems could see him be replaced by Benjamin Stambouli or Joris Marveaux, as has been the case lately.

Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti is without star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic who was sent off last weekend for a shocking tackle on goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier. The 31-year-old was given a two-match ban for his antics and has already departed for Sweden to prepare for next week's international friendly against England.

Either Guillaume Hoarau or Ezequiel Lavezzi could replace the Swede, with Ancelotti likely to prefer the No.9, who shrugged off a lack of first-team action recently to score twice last week, though Lavezzi did start in the Champions League against Dinamo Zagreb.

Thiago Motta has returned to training after almost two months out and is available for Sunday's match, as Christophe Jallet is to make way for Gregory van der Wiel after suffering discomfort in Friday training.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Montpellier's defence of the Ligue 1 title sees them currently in 14th place, having won only three league games out of a possible 11 so far.
  • La Paillade lost this fixture 3-0 last season, but recovered to draw 2-2 at the Parc des Princes.
  • Rene Girard's men have dropped 10 points from winning positions this season so far - more than any other side.
  • Nevertheless, Souleymane Camara has scored in all but one of his side's home league games this season.
  • Paris Saint-Germain will seek revenge for their 2011-12 title defeat when they meet Montpellier - a win will see them stay top.
  • Carlo Ancelotti's side are unbeaten away from home in Ligue 1 - having suffered a home defeat to Saint-Etienne last weekend.
  • The capital side have scored in each of their last 10 games against the champions.
  • PSG have managed to keep seven clean sheets in 11 league games. Montpellier are still searching for their first at home.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
16Geoffrey JourdrenGoalkeeper
-H. BedimoDefender
3Daniel CongréDefender
21Abdelhamid El KaoutariDefender
27Cyril JeunechampDefender
29Younes BelhandaMidfielder
13M. EstradaMidfielder
20Rémy CabellaMidfielder
23Jamel SaihiMidfielder
-Gaetan CharbonnierStriker
19Souleymane CamaraStriker
1Laurent PionnierGoalkeeper
2Garry BocalyDefender
6Joris MarveauxMidfielder
14Romain PitauMidfielder
-Bryan DaboMidfielder
26Anthony MounierStriker
-Emanuel HerreraStriker
30Salvatore SiriguGoalkeeper
4Thiago SilvaDefender
17Mamadou SakhoDefender
17MaxwellDefender
23Gregory van der WielDefender
-Jérémy MenezMidfielder
14Blaise MatuidiMidfielder
24Marco VerrattiMidfielder
8Thiago MottaMidfielder
13Guillaume HoarauStriker
21Ezequiel LavezziStriker
1Nicolas DouchezGoalkeeper
6Zoumana CamaraDefender
33AlexDefender
22Sylvain ArmandDefender
20Clément Chantôme Midfielder
27Javier PastoreMidfielder
11Kevin GameiroStriker
Players to Watch
Rémy Cabella
Rémy Cabella
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 20
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The young midfielder has come on leaps and bounds in the last year, and is now regarded as a definite member of Rene Girard's first team. The France U21 winger has also proved in the Champions League just how skilful and pacy he is, with his ability proving perhaps just a little too much for defenders. Has a job on his hands on Sunday against the likes of Alex and Thiago Silva.
Marco Verratti
Marco Verratti
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 24
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The 20-year-old has started his season in France better than anyone could've imagined, with PSG looking a lot more creative thanks to his brilliant passing and movement. Verratti will be pinpointed as the source of all the attacking forays Sunday's visitors manage, and will need to be wary of the physical nature of Montpellier's midfielders. A superb talent, who is expected to shine in this big clash.
Prediction
We'll finally get to see just how dependent PSG are on Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The champions may be out of form, but they proved last year, that in the big matches, they have what it takes. Ancelotti's men have a point to prove, but this one has draw all over it.
Editor's Prediction
PSG 1

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