Monday, March 19, 2018

Ligue 1 Preview: Blanc eyes killer instinct

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 22 Sep 2014


Laurent Blanc wants Paris Saint-Germain to rediscover their killer instinct to kick-start their Ligue 1 title defence.

PSG have surrendered the lead to draw 1-1 in their last three matches in all competitions, with talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic failing to score in all three.

And though Blanc’s men remain undefeated in six Ligue 1 games this term, their 10-point tally means they sit three points adrift of early pacesetters Marseille, Saint-Etienne and Bordeaux.

And Blanc, who was given a public vote of confidence by president Nasser Al-Khelaifi following Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Lyon, has urged his side to become more clinical – starting at mid-table Caen on Wednesday.

“We’re struggling to put away that second goal,” rued the former France captain. “We can’t afford for it to become a chronic problem.”

PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu echoed Blanc’s thoughts, adding: “The most annoying thing is that we are not scoring that second goal. We are giving everything in matches and in training. It will change.”

The capital club, chasing a third straight title, will expect to get back to winning ways at Caen, who were promoted from Ligue 2 last season.

Two of the sides above PSG – Saint-Etienne and Bordeaux – clash at Stade Geoffrey-Guichard on Thursday in a game that will see Bordeaux boss Willy Sagnol return to his first club.

Marseille, meanwhile, are Ligue 1’s form team following four consecutive wins, the most recent of which came in a 3-0 victory over Rennes on Saturday.

Their esteemed Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa is not getting ahead of himself before Tuesday’s trip to Reims, though.

“We’re only six games into the season and have to stay controlled,” warned the former Athletic Bilbao boss. “The standings can change very quickly.”

Lille, who sit one point adrift of the leading trio, will hope to continue their unbeaten start to the season at Nice, while sixth-placed Montpellier host Monaco – who picked up a much-needed league win by beating Guingamp 1-0 on Sunday.

At the other end of the table, bottom-placed Evian go in search of their first Ligue 1 win of the campaign at home to Lens, while Guingamp look to bounce back from defeat at the Stade Louis II when they host Metz.

Elsewhere in midweek, seventh-placed Nantes travel to Bastia, Rennes entertain Toulouse and Lorient visit Lyon.


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