• France edition
 
French football
Ligue 1 preview: PSG looking for first win
Can Edinson Cavani inspire PSG to their first win? Photo: Frack Pennant/PSG

Ligue 1 preview: PSG looking for first win

Published: 16 Aug 2013 08:55 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Aug 2013 08:55 GMT+02:00

Paris Saint-Germain play their first home game since Laurent Blanc replaced Carlo Ancelotti as coach of the Ligue 1 champions when they entertain Ajaccio at the Parc des Princes on Sunday
evening, with memories of last season's struggles against the Corsicans still fresh.

The capital club were held to goalless draws in both meetings with Ajaccio in 2012-13, but those results did not prevent them from comfortably winning the Ligue 1 crown in May.

Former France coach Blanc has been at the helm for six weeks now, and oversaw the Champions Trophy win against Bordeaux in his first competitive game at the helm before a 1-1 draw in Montpellier in last weekend's league opener.

In both games, PSG have had to come from behind, with Brazilian full-back Maxwell earning them a draw at the Stade de la Mosson after they had trailed at the interval against opponents who pressed and harried tirelessly.

With Corsican sides renowned for their aggression, and Ajaccio coach Fabrizio Ravanelli determined to make his team difficult to beat, PSG could face a frustrating evening on Sunday.

However, Blanc will hope that 64 million-euro (US$85.4m, £54.6m) record signing Edinson Cavani can have an impact on his home debut after almost scoring as a substitute in Montpellier.

"Certainly," Blanc said when asked if the Uruguayan former Napoli striker, who started pre-season training late, will feature against Ajaccio. "But the question is will he start. That is a decision we will take. He is a little bit behind with his preparation and has had some fitness problems."

Ajaccio lost 1-0 to Saint-Etienne last weekend, but Ravanelli will relish the occasion in the capital having already experienced the heat of the Parc des Princes during his days as a Marseille player.

In November 1997, the Italian striker played a central part in a controversial victory at the ground for PSG's bitter rivals, diving to win a penalty that was converted by...Laurent Blanc.

"It is a great thing to return to Paris, especially as a coach. It is a real pleasure," said Ravanelli.

"We know we will be playing against an extraordinary team with extraordinary means. But even if we lose we will come out with our heads held high, because we know we can enjoy a good season."

Earlier on Sunday, Monaco, tipped as PSG's most likely title challengers, will look to build on their opening-day win at Bordeaux when they welcome Montpellier to the Stade Louis II.

Claudio Ranieri's side. a mixture of expensive summer acquisitions and exciting young talent, won 2-0 in Bordeaux, with Radamel Falcao netting a debut goal after his 60 million-euro move from Atletico Madrid.

And in midweek they won an appeal against a three-point deduction handed down as a punishment for a trouble at the end of a game last season, so confidence will be high at the principality club.

Confidence is also high in Marseille after OM cruised to an opening-day win in Guingamp. They play host to Evian on Saturday, although recent signing Saber Khalifa is unlikely to make his debut against his former club in that encounter as he builds up his fitness.

After thumping Nice 4-0 last weekend, Lyon travel to Sochaux on Friday, the match being brought forward to help Remi Garde's side prepare for next midweek's Champions League play-off, first leg against Real Sociedad.

"Sochaux are a team that like to play football and don't worry about their opponents. That's the club's culture," said Garde.

"We are expecting a tough game. We need to confirm our good form and try and cause them as many problems as possible."

In the pick of the other matches, Nice face Rennes at the Stade du Ray, although that match will be played behind closed doors as a punishment for fan misbehaviour last season.

Fixtures (all kick-offs 1800 GMT unless stated)
   

Friday  

Sochaux v Lyon (1830 GMT)

Saturday

Marseille v Evian-Thonon-Gaillard (1500 GMT),

Bastia v Valenciennes, Nice v Rennes,

Reims v Lille,

Saint-Etienne v Guingamp,

Toulouse v Bordeaux

Sunday

Monaco v Montpellier (1200 GMT),

Lorient v Nantes (1500 GMT),

Paris Saint-Germain v Ajaccio (1900 GMT)

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French inmate shows off drug stash on Facebook
The inmate posted the videos and photos onto Facebook. Prison photo and Facebook photo: Shutterstock

French inmate shows off drug stash on Facebook

In a series of videos and photos more reminiscent of a holiday camp than a prison, an inmate in southern France has given a taste of his hedonistic life behind bars – including cannabis and mobile phones. READ  

Dozens arrested after clash over dead protester
Police made dozens of arrests at a protest Wednesday in Paris. Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP

Dozens arrested after clash over dead protester

A demonstration against the death of a protester killed in a clash with police itself turned violent in Paris on Wednesday, with some hurling bottles and rocks at riot police. At least 33 people were in police custody after the confrontations. READ  

Drones over French nuke sites prompt probe
The first drone was spotted on October 5th above a plant in deconstruction in eastern Creys-Malville, according to EDF. File photo: Nicolas Tucat/AFP

Drones over French nuke sites prompt probe

France's state-run power firm EDF on Wednesday said unidentified drones had flown over seven nuclear plants this month, leading it to file a complaint with the police. READ  

The Local List
Ten things to never say to a French person
Here's what you should never say in France. Photo: Shutterstock

Ten things to never say to a French person

Ah, France. The land of lazy workers, surrender and adulterers. Come again? Say that stuff to a French person’s face and chances are you've made them really angry. Here we’ve listed some of the worst things you can say to a French man or woman. READ  

French staff sergeant killed in Mali clash
French troops intervened in Mali in January 2013 to chase out hardline Islamists. Photo: Joel Saget/AFP

French staff sergeant killed in Mali clash

A French staff sergeant was killed in northern Mali early on Wednesday in an operation by French forces against "an armed terrorist group", President Francois Hollande's office said. READ  

Russia not to get warship just yet: French minister
Paris faces mounting pressure from Western partners to scrap the deal over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis. Photo: AFP

Russia not to get warship just yet: French minister

The conditions are not yet in place for France to deliver a controversial warship to Russia, the French finance minister said on Thursday, after Moscow said the handover would take place next month. READ  

These French wines will be great this year
These are the French wines expected to be great this year. Cheers photo: Shutterstock

These French wines will be great this year

A gorgeous Indian Summer helped France reclaim its title as world's top wine producer this year, but the weather also is expected to result in some really good vino. These are wines that should be great this year. READ  

Russians say France will hand over warship
Russia says it will take delivery of a controversial French-made warship. Photo: AFP

Russians say France will hand over warship

Russia says it's due to receive its French-made Mistral warship by November 14th, according to AFP, potentially ending months of speculation over whether France would fold to international pressure to not conclude the deal. READ  

Parisian bars that serve drinkers free meals
Places in Paris where dinner is the price of a pint. Photo: Simon Thomas/Luca Nebuloni/Flickr

Parisian bars that serve drinkers free meals

Hitting the bars in Paris can be a pricey affair, but as part of a unique custom many serve full meals for free to people who buy a drink. The Local has collected its 10 favorite bars that'll feed you for free. READ  

French union spends €130k to fix boss's flat
A powerful French union has some explaining to do about its expenditures. Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP

French union spends €130k to fix boss's flat

One of France's top labour unions was facing uncomfortable questions on Wednesday over reports it had spent €130,000 to rehab an apartment for its top boss. Plans for property had at one point included a wine cellar and home cinema. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles from British Airways
National
Eight Halloween events not to miss in Paris
National
France falls to Germans in nude swim tourney
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Nowhere combines sex and art quite like France
National
Why you should never turn down an invitation to a French wedding
Sport
Discover the route of the 2015 Tour de France. There are a few surprises
Gallery
Ten changes that would make learning French so much easier
Culture
IN PICTURES: 'Glass ship' Vuitton ready to set sail in Paris
International
How a giant 'sex toy' earned an American artist a slap in Paris
National
'Unlike in the US the French don't put the blame on the poor'
Gallery
Cover up and don't be too Latin: French travel warnings for the US
Society
Macholand: The online uprising against sexism in France
Gallery
In pictures: The daily life of the 2,000 migrants in Calais
Culture
Erotic promo video earns the Musée d'Orsay our "Only in France" award
International
'I love the UK, but I could die getting there': Struggles of Calais migrants
National
Seven reasons why everyone should work in a bar in France
National
The cost of expat home comforts: How France compares to Europe
International
Why don't Calais migrants stay in France? The Local went to find out
National
What are the pros and cons of working as an au pair in France?
Society
Is France's generous welfare state about to get a little stingier?
Gallery
Extraordinary images of ordinary life in the poor Paris suburbs
Gallery
10 things expats love and loathe about life in France
National
So why don't many women in France breastfeed?
National
'Stop bashing La Belle France' - French PM tells UK press
International
UK warns Brits of 'high threat' from terrorism' in France
National
VIDEO: 'The Kama Sutra is not a dirty little text'
National
What Rome could teach Paris and vice versa
Gallery
What do foreign countries warn their citizens about when visiting France?
Gallery
IN IMAGES: Eiffel Tower opens new glass floor above Paris
Society
Is it really better to grow old in the UK and the US rather than France?
Gallery
It's that time if the year again: French sportsmen reveal (almost) all
Gallery
So what do the French find really weird about Anglos?
Travel
Paris museums to open seven days a week but unions are not happy
Culture
Caption contest: What happened when Jay Z met Sark O?
International
This explains why the French never seem to get a sense of déjà vu?
National
VIDEO: Here's a view from the Eiffel Tower you haven't seen before
Travel
Do Paris's iconic rooftops deserve Unesco World Heritage status?
Opinion
'France cannot reform, the pilots' strike showed us this'
National
'We just don’t work hard enough in France.' Is that true?
International
France has moved to beef up security in various public places
National
Hiking naked in France does not come risk-free
Culture
10 French customs that confuse Anglos
National
IN PICTURES: A look inside France's 'most notorious' prison
International
Isis urges killing of 'spiteful, dirty' French
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se