Saturday, October 4, 2008

PSG v Nancy match preview

PSG's visit to AS Nancy is a peculiar affair to say the least. Much to my surprise Nancy languishes in the bottom-half of the table whilst most pre-season expectations had them repeating their European efforts of last season. Their long victory victory came in the fourth week of the campaign against newly promoted Le Havre AC and they have shown little of the passion that has been typical of their performances in the past.

Of course all is not perfect for PSG as well and the pre-season clatter of triumphant parades down the Champs-Élysées have long since stopped as the club is clearly short on man-power. Paul Le Guen has made some superb additions but their are significant issues in both defending and attacking that limit the club. Equally bench depth has been an issue and I can't help but wonder why tactical changes haven't been made to utilize Mateja Kežman's abilities better. PSG enters the match after advancing to the next stage of the UEFA Cup, squeezing out Kayserispor in the aggregate but also riding a two-match losing streak in Ligue 1. Possibly most telling is the lack of firepower and finishing instincts as they have yet to score twice in a league match and teams are learning very quickly on how to defend against them. They will be without Ludovic Giuly for the next three weeks with a thigh injury and Stéphane Sessegnon will need to show some of this his season flourish to push PSG forward in the attack. Fabrice Pancrate is equally questionable up-front and Paul Le Guen needs to look more towards twenty year-old Yannick Boli in his striking mix as he continues to shine in practice situations. Possibly the worst piece of news for PSG supporters is Claude Makélélé is not expected to play given a virus.