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Ligue 1

  • August 9, 2013
  • • 19:30
  • • Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
  • Referee: L. Jaffredo
  • • Attendance: 27717
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Montpellier-Paris Saint-Germain Preview: Last two Ligue 1 champions face off in opening thriller

Montpellier-Paris Saint-Germain Preview: Last two Ligue 1 champions face off in opening thriller

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The reigning French victors will be looking to kick off the new season in style but will face a tough test in the form 2011-12's winners

New Paris Saint-Germain boss Laurent Blanc aims to hit the ground running when his expensively-assembled side begin their Ligue 1 title defence on Friday against Montpellier.

The reigning champions have spent more than €100 million during the close-season in a bid to improve their already-talented squad, with more than half of that going on striker Edinson Cavani from Napoli, while Marquinhos and Lucas Digne have also joined the club in big-money deals.

Those new additions have made PSG even stronger as they aim to reclaim the title they won by 12 points from Olympique de Marseille last year and Blanc knows that the pressure is on to deliver another success.

After a mixed pre-season - featuring two wins and two defeats - PSG lifted the first trophy of the new campaign with a 2-1 victory over Bordeaux in the Trophee des Champions on Saturday.

Despite the victory, Blanc was quick to warn his side that now they are the team to beat in French football and there will be no such thing as an easy game.

"This season, every side will be super-motivated when it comes time to play against PSG, this [the Trophee des Champions] was a good example of what we can expect this season," he said.

"Our pre-season preparation has been tough, we only got some players back quite late on in the piece and we're still not quite ready.

"What lies ahead will be tough, but those are exactly the kind of challenges that are the most exciting. [Against Bordeaux] we saw some young lads make a very good first impression, and that proves that PSG is not just a team of stars, we also have some great homegrown talent coming through."

Of the new signings to have arrived at the Parc des Princes, it remains to be seen whether Cavani will feature.

The striker was not involved in the triumph over Bordeaux and may not make his debut after being called up by Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez for their friendly clash with Japan. Marquinhos is also a doubt with an injury.

Montpellier could not have been given a harder opening to the season, and they come in to Friday's clash with a blot on their pre-season record in the form of a 2-1 defeat to lowly Frejus.

Like their opponents, they have strengthened their squad during the close-season, with defender Siaka Tiene likely to be given an immediate chance to play against his former club.

The 31-year-old made 75 appearances in the French capital during his three-year stay at PSG, but found opportunities hard to come by last season, and he will be hoping to gain a starting berth in new coach Jean Fernandez's first XI.

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Last Five Matches
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Available Squads
16Geoffrey JourdrenGoalkeeper
3Daniel CongréDefender
5Vitorino Hilton da SilvaDefender
15Siaka TiénéDefender
21Abdelhamid El KaoutariDefender
6Joris MarveauxMidfielder
20Rémy CabellaMidfielder
22Benjamin Stambouli Midfielder
26Anthony MounierStriker
-Emanuel HerreraStriker
19Souleymane CamaraStriker
1Laurent PionnierGoalkeeper
21Teddy Mezague Defender
25Mathieu DeplagneDefender
28Jonas MartinMidfielder
26Bryan DaboMidfielder
-Morgan SansonMidfielder
11V. MontañoStriker
30Salvatore SiriguGoalkeeper
4Thiago SilvaDefender
33AlexDefender
17MaxwellDefender
26Christophe JalletDefender
14Blaise MatuidiMidfielder
24Marco VerrattiMidfielder
27Javier PastoreMidfielder
-LucasMidfielder
10Zlatan IbrahimovicStriker
21Ezequiel LavezziStriker
1Nicolas DouchezGoalkeeper
17Mamadou SakhoDefender
3Lucas DigneDefender
23Gregory van der WielDefender
31Adrien RabiotMidfielder
9Edinson CavaniStriker
-Hervin OngendaStriker

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