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Ligue 1

  • February 19, 2012
  • • 20:00
  • • Parc des Princes, Paris
  • Referee: T. Chapron
  • • Attendance: 44398
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Paris Saint-Germain – Montpellier Preview: Ligue 1’s top two square off at Parc des Princes

Paris Saint-Germain – Montpellier Preview: Ligue 1’s top two square off at Parc des Princes

Panoramic

Carlo Ancelotti’s men slipped up against Nice last weekend and, as a result, they were caught by La Paillade, who are unexpected challengers for the French title


PROBABLE LINEUPS


PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN


Sirigu
Bisevac, Lugano, Sakho, Maxwell
Motta, Sissoko, Pastore
Menez, Nene
Gameiro


MONTPELLIER


Jourdren
Bocaly, Yangambiwa, Hilton, Bedimo
Marveaux, Estrada
Cabella, Belhanda, Utaka
Giroud


PSG hope to be able to welcome back Javier Pastore to their starting XI after injury but, if the Argentine is not fit to play, Mathieu Bodmer is liable to be given the nod, despite a knock picked up in the 1-0 Coupe de France win over Dijon on Wednesday. Christophe Jallet is a slight doubt after suffering a slight injury in midweek.

Siaka Tiene is back from the Africa Cup of Nations but is unlikely to be involved heavily.

Key Marseille central defender Hilton missed out on last weekend’s 3-0 victory over Ajaccio due to a last-minute problem, but the Brazilian is expected back in the squad for this clash after training much of the week. Benjamin Stambouli, the club’s Player of the Month for January, is likely to make way.

Geoffrey Dernis is the only player sidelined for Rene Girard’s men.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Paris Saint-Germain are top of Ligue 1, becoming the first club to reach the 50-point mark thanks to last weekend’s scoreless draw against Nice.
  • The stalemate at the Stade du Ray was the first time that Les Parisiens have failed to win under Carlo Ancelotti, but they were back on track in midweek, beating Dijon 1-0 in the Coupe de France.
  • Les Parisiens have twice lost at home in the league this season, on both occasions by a 1-0 scoreline, going down against Lorient and Nancy.
  • Nene has been their most prolific player at home, registering half of the club’s 22 league goals scored at Parc des Princes.
  • On the seven occasions when they have scored the opening goal in front of their home fans this season, PSG have gone on to win the game.
  • Although Montpellier have a poor record in Paris – winning only five of 22 away matches against PSG – they’re unbeaten in the City of Lights since winning promotion back to the top flight two seasons ago.
  • Rene Girard’s side have been noted for their formidable home form, losing only once this term as they slipped to a 3-0 loss against Sunday’s opponents.
  • With 45 goals to their credit, La Paillade are comfortably Ligue 1’s top scorers, bettering the tallies of Lille (40) and PSG (39).
  • Olivier Giroud has contributed 16 of these goals, not to mention six assists.
  • Montpellier are not all about offensive strength, though; since the turn of the year, they have played seven times and have yet to concede.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
30Salvatore SiriguGoalkeeper
17Mamadou SakhoDefender
5Milan BiševacDefender
33AlexDefender
17MaxwellDefender
-Jérémy MenezMidfielder
19NenêMidfielder
14Blaise MatuidiMidfielder
-Mohamed Lamine SissokoMidfielder
8Thiago MottaMidfielder
11Kevin GameiroStriker
1Nicolas DouchezGoalkeeper
-CearáDefender
2Diego LuganoDefender
22Sylvain ArmandDefender
20Clément Chantôme Midfielder
27Javier PastoreMidfielder
13Guillaume HoarauStriker
16Geoffrey JourdrenGoalkeeper
2Garry BocalyDefender
3Mapou Yanga-MbiwaDefender
5Vitorino Hilton da SilvaDefender
-H. BedimoDefender
29Younes BelhandaMidfielder
13M. EstradaMidfielder
23Jamel SaihiMidfielder
99John UtakaStriker
12Olivier GiroudStriker
19Souleymane CamaraStriker
1Laurent PionnierGoalkeeper
27Cyril JeunechampDefender
6Joris MarveauxMidfielder
14Romain PitauMidfielder
20Rémy CabellaMidfielder
22Benjamin Stambouli Midfielder
18Karim Ait FanaStriker
Players to Watch
Nenê
Nenê
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 19
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
It’s impossible to overlook the contribution that Nene has had to PSG since arriving from Monaco around 18 months ago. The Brazilian has been superb for Les Parisiens and continues to offer their most consistent threat, even since so many high-profile additions were made in the two transfer windows following the QSI takeover. He has scored 11 goals so far this season and tends to orchestrate PSG’s best attacking movement but did waste a couple of great chances against Nice last weekend, though.
Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 12
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Olivier Giroud has enjoyed success at the Parc des Princes previously, playing a vital role as Montpellier recovered from a 2-0 deficit last season to score a 2-2 draw at the Parisian venue. He has been the outstanding striker in France this term, registering 16 goals already. The 25-year-old has attracted attracted glances from some of Europe’s top sides, and the €16 million price-tag is unlikely to put suitors off.
Prediction
PSG start this match as significant favourites to win this game, but Montpellier have been confounding critics all season. Although MHSC’s home form has been the bedrock of their success, they have been impressive on the road, too, and their strong defensive record is nothing to be taken lightly. With PSG struggling to look offensively coherent, a tight game should be in the offing.
Editor's Prediction
PSG 1

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