Crunch game for PSG's title hopes
By D. Crossan
Paris Saint-Germain have the chance to claim the Ligue 1 leadership on Tuesday evening when they host in-form Metz at the Parc des Princes in a rearranged Week 32 clash.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Paris Saint-Germain - FC Metz
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PSG are in fantastic domestic form themselves, the champions having won their last four Ligue 1 fixtures, including Saturday's 6-1 dismantling of Lille in the French capital. Metz, Ligue 2 champions last season, have collected seven points from their last three matches in the league but Albert Cartier's men are still eight points adrift of 17th-placed Reims.
This Week 32 match had to be rescheduled because of PSG taking part in the Coupe de la Ligue final earlier in the month. Laurent Blanc's side disposed of Bastia then and are on course for an unprecedented domestic triple, as they are also qualified for the Coupe de France final where they'll face Auxerre.
Blanc: "We must win"
Ahead of Metz, Blanc said: "We have respect for this Metz side, who are in a difficult situation. But we have respect for every team we play. Nothing is easy when you’re their situation, but it's tough for everyone. I have seen a lot of their matches. They had an excellent match against Bordeaux (1-1). They are fighting for every point. Their schedule has been made a little bit tougher with this midweek match, which they're not used to playing. Our ambition is to win and claim the three points on offer, the same ambition as in every game. Despite all the respect we have for Metz, we must win."
PSG captain Thiago Silva is available after recovering from a thigh injury but right-back Serge Aurier is absent with a similar issue, while number one goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu misses out with the foot injury which forced him off against Lille. Yohan Cabaye (ankle) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (suspension) are the other players Blanc must do without.
For both PSG and Metz the challenge is to make full use of their match in hand. Metz will look for inspiration from their eight-goal top scorer Modibo Maïga - scorer of four goals in his last three appearances - and veteran Florent Malouda - involved in three goals since the turn of the month.
Maïga said: "We've never given up and never stopped believing in ourselves. In the last few games we have at last been rewarded and collected quite a few points. As long as nothing has been decided mathematically, Metz will keep fighting. Everybody is battling away and we're playing with greater freedom at the moment. We want to achieve something exceptional."
Paris Saint-Germain: Douchez; Marquinhos (or van der Wiel), Thiago Silva (cap) (or Marquinhos), David Luiz, Maxwell; Verratti, Thiago Motta, Matuidi; Pastore, Cavani, Lavezzi
Metz : M'Fa; Métanire, Milan (cap), Palomino, Bussmann; Kashi, Doukouré (or N'Daw); B.Sarr, Malouda, Ngbakoto; Maïga