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Guingamp v Paris Saint-Germain: Ligue 1 champions seek improvement

Paris Saint-Germain will be out to put their Champions League frustrations behind them when they travel to Guingamp in Ligue 1 this weekend.

PSG’s hopes in Europe were left hanging in the balance following a 2-2 draw at home to Manchester City in the first leg of their quarter-final tie after an error-riddled performance in the French capital on Wednesday.

Kevin De Bruyne punished PSG on the break in the first half and Fernandinho benefited from some sloppy defending in the penalty area, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic hit the crossbar in the second half, having had a 14th-minute penalty saved by Joe Hart.

Goalscorers Ibrahimovic and Adrien Rabiot both lamented the performance in Paris as PSG face an uphill task in their quest to reach a first Champions League semi-final since 1994-95.

But while PSG have already wrapped up a fourth consecutive Ligue 1 crown – they are 25 points clear of second-placed Monaco after 32 matches – Saturday’s trip to Guingamp provides Laurent Blanc and his players with an opportunity to get things right ahead of next week’s return leg.

“It’s not a good result. I don’t know if it has to do with nervousness but we made a lot of technical mistakes, especially for City’s second goal – and we all know the importance of away goals,” Blanc said afterwards, with PSG to face City in Manchester on April 12.

“Looking at the stats, we played the match we wanted to, but we made mistakes, in part due to City’s quality.

“We dominated yet conceded two goals, and on top of that we’ll have two players suspended for the return leg – David Luiz and Blaise Matuidi. It’ll be complicated, but it’s possible.”

PSG will again be without midfield duo Marco Verratti and Javier Pastore for the match at Stade du Roudourou, after they were ruled out of the second leg.

Verratti and Pastore also missed the first match against City, having sat out last week’s 4-1 rout of Nice due to respective groin and calf injuries.

As for Guingamp, they have the opportunity to pull further clear of the relegation zone.

Jocelyn Gourvennec’s side – amid a three-game unbeaten run – are 15th in the league and six points above the drop zone after twice surrendering a lead in their 2-2 draw at home to fellow strugglers Marseille last week.

“Montpellier [16th on 37 points] are still behind us,” said Gourvennec, whose side stunned PSG 1-0 at home in the league last season.

“We have 39 points and I think that’s a decent tally and that in terms of how we are playing it is more than decent.”


Key Opta stats:

-PSG have lost only three of their 19 Ligue 1 games against Guingamp (W8 D8).
-Guingamp have won only two of their nine home Ligue 1 games against PSG (D5 L2).
-Guingamp are unbeaten in their last three league games (W2 D1) after winning none of the previous five (D2 L3).
-Guingamp have lost only one of their last seven home league games (W3 D3).
-Paris have 80 points after 32 Ligue 1 games this season, the highest tally ever for a Ligue 1 team at this stage.
-PSG have lost none of their last 10 Ligue 1 games following a Champions League match (W9 D1).
-Guingamp have scored in each of their last seven Ligue 1 games – only Marseille are on a better run (12).
– Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored 105 goals in Ligue 1, the highest tally in the French top flight among active players.

Thu 7 Apr, 2016
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