Paris Saint germain vs Nantes ; This is it: the final Ligue 1 game of the season for both Paris Saint-Germain and Nantes. Both teams have nothing to play for except pride, and speaking after Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Girondins de Bordeaux, manager Laurent Blanc let it be known he is keen to end the league campaign on a high.
“Tonight, it was a typical end of season match and it was the right result, because we’re playing in between the final two rounds of the season,” he told the club’s official website. “We have ten days before the final of the Coupe de France. … We want to finish the season well in front of our supporters on Saturday against Nantes and obviously win a tenth Cup.”
Les Canaris go to Paris having only won one of their last six games and won’t be expecting much from their visit to the French capital. PSG’s home record has been outstanding this season, with only one defeat and three draws from their 18 league matches at the Parc des Princes.
Blanc will be demanding they go out with a win, setting up their Coupe de France final against Olympique de Marseille at the Stade de France on May 21.
|Paris Saint-Germain||FC Nantes|
|D Bordeaux 1-1 PSG (Ligue 1)||L Nantes 1-1 Caen (Ligue 1)|
|W Gazelec 0-4 PSG (Ligue 1)||W Nantes 1-0 Nice (Ligue 1)|
|W PSG 4-0 Rennes (Ligue 1)||D Marseille 1-1 (Ligue 1)|
|W PSG 2-1 Lille (Coupe de la Ligue)||L Nantes 0-2 Montpellier (Ligue 1)|
|W Lorient 0-1 PSG (Coupe de France)||L Reims 2-1 Nantes (Ligue 1)|
There are doubts over the fitness of Zlatan Ibrahimovic going into Saturday’s game, after the Swedish forward came off after 70 minutes of the 1-1 draw with Bordeaux on Wednesday. Blanc revealed the striker asked to be withdrawn.
But with the player announcing his departure from PSG this summer, per BBC Sport, even if he doesn’t start, it’s likely he will play some part in Saturday’s game.
Salvatore Sirigu should start the game as he prepares for the cup final, and there could also be a place back in the team for midfielder Blaise Matuidi, who is recovering from a hip injury.
PSG (4-3-3): Salvatore Sirigu; Serge Aurier, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Maxwell; Christopher Nkunku, Adrien Rabiot, Thiago Motta; Angel Di Maria, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani.
Centre-back Oswaldo Vizcarrondo returns to the Nantes side from suspension and should partner Koffi Djidji in defence. Yacine Bammou wasn’t named in the squad due to injury, the former PSG youngster scored when the two sides met at the Stade de la Beaujoire in September.
Lorik Cana is also back after injury and could face his former side in place of Djidji, but Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, Valentin Rongier and Wilfried Moimbe will miss out.
Nantes (4-2-3-1): Remy Riou; Youssouf Sabaly, Oswaldo Vizcarrondo, Koffi Djidji, Leo Dubois; Guillaume Gillet, Remi Gomis; Adrien Thomasson, Alejandro Bedoya, Adryan; Emiliano Sala.
There are quite a few stories coming to an end at the Parc des Princes on Saturday. Michel Der Zakarian will take charge of his last game as Nantes coach, with Rene Girard taking over next season.
It will also mark the end of Youssouf Sabaly’s loan spell at Les Canaris. The full-back has spent the season on loan from PSG and will end the campaign playing against his parent club.
Speaking to the Nantes website before Saturday’s game, the 23-year-old was excited for the match, saying it would be a special occasion, ending a great season playing against his employer.
Sabaly was clear he has to try and play this match without emotion, not try too hard and just be himself. This is the first full season he has played as a right-back, and he believes he has learned a lot from Der Zakarian in both the attacking and defensive aspects of the game.
The player still holds aspirations of finding a place in the PSG squad, and with Gregory van der Wiel looking likely to move on when his contract expires in the summer, if Sabaly can impress on Saturday, he could convince the club he deserves a spot in the squad next season.
Just to make sure he was the headline act on Saturday, on Friday morning, Ibrahimovic announced to the world he would be playing his last game for PSG at the Parc des Princes on Saturday, confirming his departure this summer.
His goal against Bordeaux on Wednesday was his 36th league goal of the season, and it will be up to Vizcarrondo and Djidji to spoil the Swede’s leaving party.
Nantes have a relatively good defensive record this season, conceding 40 goals in 37 games, but that will be put to a serious test on Saturday.
The back four will have to be at its best and hope Ibrahimovic and PSG have one eye on the following week’s Coupe de France final.