How Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva Will Shape PSG's Formation

Christopher Almeras@@redriverhockeyCorrespondent IIJuly 13, 2012

How Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva Will Shape PSG's Formation

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    With among others reporting the impending transfer of AC Milan duo Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain, the internet has been lit up with analysis of what this move means.

    The overwhelming opinion is that this move will make PSG a force to be reckoned with in Europe. The addition of Ibrahimovic adds to an already impressive offense, while Silva is just the tonic their defense needed.

    The following is a look at each section of PSG's current squad, and how the Ligue 1 outfit will potentially line up with the arrival of these two stars.


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    Salvatore Sirigu was the addition who surprised most last season. Many thought he would come in to give competition to Nicolas Douchez, who was brought in at the beginning of the summer. However, the order was soon reversed, and the Italian keeper proved to be one of the most economical purchases of the transfer season.

    Sirigu nailed down the No. 1 spot early on with solid keeping and command of his area. He will go into this season as the clear first-choice keeper. Douchez is a solid backup to have. If Sirigu slumps or gets injured, PSG will see very little—if any—drop off at the position with Douchez.


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    Coming into the summer, defense was the area of most concern for PSG.

    However, the anticipated arrival of Thiago Silva from AC Milan should cure a great deal of that. Silva is the back-four anchor PSG was missing last season. His talent, leadership and understanding of the game will help the defense to gel into a more efficient unit.

    With fellow Brazilians Maxwell and Alex already in defense, Silva should make a seamless transition into the PSG squad. Christophe Jallet is a capable right-back, and players like Camara and Armand add experienced depth.

    The biggest question facing the defense now is where the super talented Mamadou Sakho fits in. Sakho was hailed as one of the greatest talents to come through the PSG youth system. Last summer, he was drawing interest from teams like Arsenal.

    Whether it was the change in coaching, a lack of confidence or just a slump, the once rising star seemed to plateau and found himself on the bench.

    Sakho has tremendous talent, and could benefit greatly from playing with Silva. His abilities allow him to play at left-back or center-back.

    Either way, it is in PSG's best interest to keep him. Quality depth in the center of defense is a requirement to compete for silverware on multiple fronts.


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    Midfield is where PSG has an abundance of quality and depth.

    On the defensive side of midfield, Blaise Matuidi and Thiago Motta are both exceptional ball winners who can transition from defense to attack with ease.

    Meanwhile, the attacking midfielders include the vast talents of Javier Pastore, Jeremy Menez, Nene and Mohamed Sissoko.

    In addition, Ezequiel Lavezzi was signed this summer from Napoli. The Argentine international is versatile enough to play on the wing or up top. Mathieu Bodmer adds some solid depth, and youngster Neeskens Kebano is an explosive talent who could force his way into some playing time.


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    Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be joining an already solid core of forwards.

    Guillaume Hoarau and Kevin Gameiro are both capable of putting the ball into the net on a frequent basis.

    Add the aforementioned Ezequiel Lavezzi into the mix, and you have an attack with loads of options.

    Ibrahimovic will be the focal point of the forward group, but having the talent to support him will make him that much better.


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    With the talent in numbers that PSG has acquired, there are many options for Carlo Ancelotti as far as formation and selection.

    PSG's preferred formation last season was a 4-3-2-1 look, with a single attacker up top supported by two attacking midfielders or wingers.

    If PSG lines up in a similar fashion, here is how I see them appearing:

    GK - Sirigu

    LB - Maxwell

    CB - Alex

    CB - Silva

    RB - Jallet

    LM - Matuidi

    CM - Motta

    RM - Menez/Sissoko

    LW - Pastore

    RW - Lavezzi/Nene

    F - Ibrahimovic

    The addition in defense of Silva could allow Ancelotti to move one of his other three midfielders up in line with the wingers. This would bring more support to the attack.

    If Ancelotti decides to go this way, the lineup could look like this:

    GK - Sirigu

    LB - Maxwell

    CB - Alex

    CB - Silva

    RB - Jallet

    DM - Matuidi

    DM - Motta

    LM - Lavezzi

    CAM - Pastore

    RM - Nene

    F - Ibrahimovic

    There is still time to work with in the transfer window, and the addition of a Modric or another ultra-talented player could change this.

    As it currently stands, Ancelotti has a selection headache on his hands, but it is the type of headache that coaches do not mind having.

    Being able to mix and match talents like Menez, Sissoko, Lavezzi and Nene is a great problem to have.