Paris Saint-Germain vs. Guingamp: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
Paris Saint Germain earned their first win of the season last weekend away at Nantes.
Goals from Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi were enough to squeak out a 2-1 victory over Les Canaris and give Laurent Blanc a boost as they aim to kickstart their season.
Blanc appears set on putting out at 4-2-2-2 formation—at least in Ligue 1.
Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will likely be supported by two of Javier Pastore, Lucas Moura or Lavezzi.
It will mean hard graft for Blaise Matuidi and either Thiago Motta or Marco Verratti, who will be tasked with holding a thin midfield together against sides that will often outnumber them in the middle of the park.
PSG host newly promoted Guingamp this weekend, who were buoyed by a victory last weekend over Lorient, which would have calmed the nerves after back-to-back defeats since their return from Ligue 2.
Clearly, Les Parisiens will be expected to win handsomely this weekend; otherwise more pressure will be heaped onto Blanc's shoulders, given the exceptional talent at his disposal.
When: Saturday, Aug. 31 at 11 a.m ET (4 p.m. BST)
Where: Parc des Princes, Paris, France
Live stream: Bet 365
TV: beIN Sport
One to watch for the hosts: Javier Pastore
El Flaco has started every match under Blanc thus far; both friendlies and league matches.
He will have pressure from the likes of Lavezzi and Lucas, who could both feasibly start ahead of the Argentine, but it seems that the former Palermo star is a favourite of Blanc for the time being.
With a greater tendency to work off the ball, Pastore could be key to unsettling Guingamp's Lionel Mathis as the midfield anchor and therefore regaining possession and increasing the pressure on the visitors.
Ibrahimovic has tended to drop deeper since his move to Paris, but with the introduction of El Matador, PSG now have that threat in behind.
Pastore has that eye to split defences with those cleverly disguised through balls, and he will be looking to build a relationship with Cavani on this basis.
One to watch for the visitors: Mustapha Yatabare
The star of the side, his goals will be imperative to their survival from relegation.
Yatabare scored 23 goals last year to earn Guingamp second place in Ligue 2, and if he can replicate that type of form, the side from Brittany will give themselves a chance this season.
Expect the Mali international to be rather isolated throughout the match, but when he is fed the ball, he will need to hold it up and hope that Younousse Sankhare can join him from midfield.
Key battle: Maxwell vs. Claudio Beauvue
One of the weaknesses that PSG will experience with the current setup is that when Pastore or even Lavezzi are played on the left side as support strikers, they both tend to drift inside to link with the strikers.
That position is better described as playing from the left in this regard, so there is extra pressure on Maxwell to charge forwards and offer that natural width around the outside.
The Brazilian will hope to arrive unmarked and should enjoy the freedom to be able to gallop forwards and know that one of his teammates will be able to pick him out.
Guingamp will have to rely on Beauvue to monitor this situation and offer some sort of protection on the right side of Jocelyn Gourvennec's side.
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