Le Grand Match: Paris Saint-Germain vs Lille OSC
This weekend sees Paris Saint-Germain take on Lille in what should be an interesting and entertaining confrontation between two sides looking to make their mark on the title race in Ligue 1 this season. There will be a number of key battles across the field as both sides look for maximum points in this fixture.
It must be said that this is a definite candidate for this week’s “Grand Match” as both are strong sides looking for maximum points. Given Montpellier’s stumble last week, PSG moved level on points at the summit of the Ligue 1 table with Lille pushing just two points behind. A win for either side will see them bat off the competition, even if only temporarily, going into the winter break in Ligue 1.
The most recent fixture between these two sides occurred on the penultimate day of last season, ending in a 2-2 draw. Goals from Ludovic Obraniak and Moussa Sow, last season’s top goalscorer, were cancelled out by PSG pair Guillaume Hoarau and Mathieu Bodmer. Hoarau was later sent off.
Lille goalkeeper Mickael Landreau will return to the Parc des Princes to face his former side once again. The 32 year-old former France international is in his third season in the North of France with Lille having spent three seasons at the Parc des Princes under the guidance of Guy Lacombe and Paul Le Guen respectively. In playing his former side, Landreau has a decent enough record having started in three fixtures with a record of one win and two draws. The goalkeeper has conceded just three goals across these three confrontations.
This season, Landreau has conceded 16 goals in the 17 league matches he has played so far with only three clean sheets to his name. Landreau’s main threat may come from the creative play of the capital-city club’s big-money summer signing Javier Pastore, especially when linking up with the ever-dangerous Kévin Gameiro.
Pastore and Gameiro have only linked-up for a goal once this season but the creativity of the PSG side in general has been impressive so far this season. Gameiro’s nine goals in 17 matches includes a hat-trick against newly-promoted Corsican side Ajaccio. Given the goalscoring record Gameiro boasts, he is sure to test Mickael Landreau between the sticks and it is a fair assumption that Lille will not keep a clean sheet in this fixture.
The battle between these two players will surely be something to look out for in this match. Both of these sides are capable of grabbing all three points but it remains to be seen just who will come out on top. With these two clubs sitting second and third in the table respectively, each will know the importance of a victory in this fixture.
PSG and the club’s fans will not be pleased by the news that Javier Pastore yesterday told French publication So Foot that he “dreams of playing for a big club”. This will not sit well with the PSG board, who are trying to bring in the suitable players to make PSG a bigger club on the world stage. It remains to be seen whether these comments have been taken out of context or whether they will affect PSG’s preparations for the fixture this weekend. Leonardo, who worked hard to bring Pastore to France in spite of strong interest from Premier League club Chelsea, has yet to make his feelings known.
This match will be live on Canal+ this Sunday and kicks off at 21:00 CET (20:00 GMT).