Still dreaming of closing the ‘block’ in the second half of the season, Paris Saint-Germain has Nantes as their rival this Sunday, January 14. With the start scheduled for 18h (Brasília time) the game composes the schedule of the twentieth round of the French Championship 2017/2018, the first of the second round. The meeting will be held at the stadium of la Beaujoire in Nantes.
The recent performance of Nantes
After two victories at the end of 2017 before a stoppage of just over 15 days of the French Championship, Nantes started with a quiet victory in 2018. As a visitor, they thrashed the tiny USM Senlis 4-0 at the French Cup.
Coached by veteran coach Claudio Ranieri, who was English champion with Leicester, Nantes made an excellent campaign in Ligue 1. They collected 33 points (ten wins, three draws and six losses). It is in fifth position.
The performance in the first round allows you to dream of a place in European competitions. The block of classified for international tournaments is closed by the uneven Bordeaux, placed fourth, with five points more.
Achieving punctuation before the PSG would be a differential in this fight. For that, Ranieri will be able to count on almost all its available cast. There is only question to match is regarding striker Kalifa Coulibaly (four matches in the French Championship 2017/2018, no goal). Even if it is vetoed, the player can not be considered a big loss, since most of the time there has been only one option on the bench.
The current form of PSG
Owner of a much more intense schedule and in the fight for title in four tournaments, the PSG already made two games in 2018. Both as a visitor. In the first, in his debut of the Glass of France, thrashed Rennes by 6 to 1. Then, by the Glass of the League, beat Amiens by 2 to 0 and secured its place in the semifinals.
He kept the hope of winning all four titles of the season. The most ambitious one is certainly the one of the Champions League of Europe. The team did their homework and managed to secure their classification for the last 16 as the first in their group. It was not, however, fortunate in the definition of the confrontations. There was Real Madrid, current double champion of the competition, placed as a rival. The Spaniards were in second place of their key.
While February 14, which is the date of the first clash between the giants, is not enough, PSG will try to keep their advantage advantage in the dispute of Ligue 1. The team closed the first round with 50 points (16 wins, two draws and one defeat). They are nine ahead in comparison to Monaco and Lyon, their closest pursuers. Of the four competitions, this is considered practically guaranteed.
After facing two eliminatory games, coach Unay Emery could even take advantage of Sunday’s showdown to take on his cast. The hard part will be to convince strikers Edinson Cavani (18 matches in the French Championship, 19 goals) and Neymar (14 matches, eight goals), who seek to break records, to stay out.
History of the bouts between Nantes and PSG
PSG have won their last 14 games against Nantes. The invincibility is even greater. He reaches 19 matches (17 wins and two draws). It was started in 2005.
Nantes has a very balanced campaign based on a strong defensive system. In the games at his stadium, for example, he conceded only five goals. It is the least leaked defense of Ligue 1 when only the results of the teams in their stadiums are considered.
The PSG attack, however, is on another level. So, however good Ranieri’s strategy may be, the victory of the visitors is the best choice for a guess. The price is 1.25 in Rivalo. Tie pays premium of 6.00. Even if they play in their stadium, Nantes is considered the biggest underdog in the round with a return of 12.00 for 1 on success.