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Ligue1 Preview: Nantes v Paris Saint-Germain

Laurent Blanc takes his Paris Saint-Germain side to Nantes on Sunday looking for his first league win as manager.

The defending Ligue 1 champions have made a disappointing start to the new season and sit in the bottom half of the table after consecutive 1-1 draws against Montpellier and Ajaccio.

Edinson Cavani scored his first goal for the club in the stalemate with Ajaccio last week, but PSG were left frustrated as they failed to turn a dominant performance into three points.

This Sunday, they face a Nantes outfit whose return to the top flight has been marred by controversy.

Michel Der Zakarian’s men – who ended their four-year absence from Ligue 1 with promotion from the second tier last season – started the campaign with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Bastia.

However, the Brittany club face having those points taken away for fielding a suspended player, following the introduction of Abdoulaye Toure in the second half of that win two weeks ago.

That error has since been compounded by a 2-1 defeat to local rivals Lorient, with Der Zakarian’s side failing to hold on to a lead given to them by Fabien Audard’s first-half own goal.

And Nantes look set to struggle to gain their second win of the season against a PSG side that, despite their stuttering start, remains undefeated in their last 13 Ligue 1 outings.

Head-to-head form is stacked in favour of Blanc’s men as the team for the capital have won the last three meetings between the two sides, and eased to a 4-1 victory in their previous clash at the Stade de la Beaujoire in February 2009.

PSG also go into the game with few injury worries. Winger Jeremy Menez (back) is not expected to return until September 14 – when PSG travel to Bordeaux – but midfielder Blaise Matuidi could feature after making a swift recovery after a clash of heads with Ajaccio defender Joshua Nadeau.

However, Nantes have a fully-fit squad to choose from, with midfielder Jordan Veretout – a member of France’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup winning squad – set to return from suspension after being dismissed against Bastia.

Fri 23 Aug, 2013
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