Paris Saint-Germain welcome LOSC Lille to the Parc des Princes on Saturday in Ligue 1 action.
When: 4.00 pm GMT, 20 April 2015
Where: Parc des Princes, Paris
Watch live: Click here to watch on BT Sport online!
Laurent Blanc’s side will have been desperate to get back to action over the last few days.
The dismal defeat to Barcelona on Tuesday evening saw PSG dumped out of the Champions League in a disappointing fashion—particularly considering the optimism generated by the elimination of Chelsea in the Round of 16.
Any aspirations PSG had for being considered among Europe’s giants evaporated when they faced Barcelona over two legs, with the team being reminded of the gulf in class that exists between the continent’s truly elite sides and the great pretenders.
Since that second-leg elimination, media speculation concerning the futures of several key PSG players has dominated the French media.
The futures of the likes of Ezequiel Lavezzi, Edinson Cavani, Yohan Cabaye and Gregory van der Wiel have all been questioned; the quartet have delivered a series of sub-par performances this term and have all been linked with a move away from the club.
The goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu has also been linked with a transfer, although Blanc came out to praise his stopper earlier this week.
The former France coach will be delighted to welcome Thiago Motta—a player he holds in high regard—back to the fold.
The Italian has struggled with injury in recent weeks but has been declared fit to play and could be in line to make his comeback after five games out.
PSG remain without Thiago Silva, however, who continues to miss out due to a thigh problem.
Beyond the desire to improve the mood around the club, and continue a three-match winning streak, Blanc will also be eyeing the top spot in Ligue 1 this weekend.
Heading into matchday 34, Olympique Lyonnais sit atop the table having played a game more than PSG. However, with both sides on 65 points, only goal difference is keeping Les Gones in the driving seat.
The visit of Lyon gives Paris the opportunity to return to top spot and heap pressure on their title rivals ahead of an away fixture for OL against strugglers Stade de Reims on Sunday evening.
For their part, Lille are on a fine run of form—they have won five of their last six—and retain outside hopes of a Europa League berth. They find themselves four points behind Girondins de Bordeaux in sixth and seven behind AS Saint-Etienne up in fifth.
One of Lille’s key men, goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, will doubtless be tested at the Parc des Princes on Saturday.
PSG are in fine goalscoring form—having bagged three goals in each of their last three matches—but the division’s top scorers will face a stern test with Lille, who have the joint-second best defence in the top flight.
The capital club are unbeaten at home in the league this season, having won 11 of their 15 matches, and are unlikely to lose their record on Saturday.
Their defence—even before injuries struck—hasn’t always looked to be on the same page, and despite enduring a mixed campaign, on-loan Liverpool man Divock Origi and his strike partner Nolan Roux will look to continue their improving form.