Thursday, 1 December 2011

Broken PSG look for quick fix at Red Bull Salzburg

In the words of Michael Cox of Zonal Marking fame, PSG looked a "broken team" in Sunday's yes-it-really-did-happen-and-yes-it-really-was-that-bad clasico defeat to OM.

Ahead of tonight's Europa League clash with Red Bull Salzburg, Antoine Kombouare has not so much made repairs to his flagging as torn it to pieces and started again.

AK will be making his customary Europa League changes, meaning starts for Nicky Shower in goal and Mevlut Erding up front. Injuries will deprive him of Jezza Menneza and Diego Lugano, though on Sunday's evidence neither is a great loss, while Javier Pastore has been left at home because he's feeling a bit tired

"Let's be clear, this is not a penalty," said AK, which is lucky really as on current form El Flaco would probably miss if it was.

"He needs to have a breather and recharge his batteries. When he's in better shape physically, he'll be better mentally as well. I'm not punishing him; he needs some time."

Without the three big names, Clement Chantome is being tipped to make a first start for a while having recovered from injury. Irritatingly, he got a red card for the reserves at the weekend and won't be available for Sunday's league match with Auxerre. Pastore's role will be filled by Matthieu Bodmer, and with Momo Sissoko or Blaise Matuidi filling the third central berth, the team already has a more balanced, if less explosive, look about it.

Regardless of the side that starts, the 11 AK selects should have enough to see off Salzburg, a team who are muddling along in the middle of the Bundesliga table, but (slightly worryingly) come into this match on the back of a 6-0 tonking of the mighty Kapfenberger SVA.

A draw would be enough to take PSG through, and even with a win they're unlikely to win the group unless Bilbao cock up big time against Bratislava. Allez Paris!


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