Match Preview: Champions v Challengers in a pivotal game for Paris

They fell apart down in Montpellier, they’ve crashed out of their first place spot in the Champions league in outrageous style and now PSG and Emery face the opponent they would be fearing the most. 

Since beating Angers back in November, PSG have had a really tough time finding their feet, and the back of the net. They were embarrassed against Montpellier who handed Paris their worst defeat in 5 years. Then following that game all of PSG’s hard work when travelling to Arsenal and getting a good 2-2 draw was undone when they failed to complete the job against Ludogorets, falling to a disappointing sound place finish in the group.

Di Maria and Unai Emery’s tactic have been heavily criticised by the media all week because of Les Parisiens failure to win matches and live up to the high expectations set by Laurent Blanc’s highly dominant previous campaigns. Paris desperately need a win on Sunday evening to silence the critics and hopefully get back to their rhythm that got earned them a run  12 unbeaten games before travelling to Montpellier.

In contrast, Nice travel to the Parc Des Princes in admirable form and sit on the top of the table. They’re played inspirational and extremely fluent attacking football all season and have even more reason to be optimistic with their star striker and second highest goalscorer, Mario Balotelli, likely to return to face the reigning champions. Nice’s range of firepower could cause the timid PSG back line a lot of problems, if evidence of recent performances are to go by.

All eyes will be on PSG attacker Hatem Ben Arfa this weekend. The Frenchmen was exceptional for Nce last season. He was shortlisted along side world class players such as Zlatan Ibahimovic and Angel Di Maria in the running to be named player of the season after scoring 17 goals in Ligue 1, including one against Paris Saint Geramin. Now Ben Arfa plays for his boyhood club against his former club who served him so well, though he stated that he will “put his feelings aside” against his former club.

Team News

Javier Pastore and Adrien Rabiot are still on the sidelines due to their seperate injuries. Kimpembe is also left out of the squad for tonights game but there is good fortune for Marco Verratti who is back in and in my opinion, Paris always look better and more offensive with min in the team. Di Maria is likelu to start despite criticism and like we’re used to seeing Cavan will be relied on going forward.

Predicted Starting XI

(4-3-3) Areola; Aurier, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Kurzawa; Motta, Verratti, Matuidi; Lucas,  Cavani, Di Maria

Subs: Trapp, Meunier, Maxwell, Krychowiak, Ben Arfa, Jese, Augustin

Predicted Score

PSG 2-2 Nice

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