Paris Saint-Germain head to Corsica to face Ajaccio on Sunday
looking to register their first win of the new campaign after
having to settle for a point against Lorient in their
season-opener last weekend.
Carlo Ancelotti's side have grabbed all the summer headlines and
were seen as certain champions before a ball had even been
kicked, but they looked anything but nailed-on title favourites
for the first 45 minutes against Lorient before debutante Zlatan
Ibrahimovic scored twice to earn a 2-2 draw and spare blushes at
the Parc des Princes.
Even this early into his PSG career, Ibrahimovic's presence is
"Zlatan is a great player. He has just arrived and is already
behaving like one of the leaders," said midfielder Clement
Chantome with a sense of awe this week.
"He helped us get back into the game against Lorient and some of
the things he does in training are superb. Having him here is
clearly a major plus, less so for opposition defences."
The capital club are hoping that the Swede will recover from an
ankle injury that kept him out of his country's midweek friendly
defeat to Brazil to make the game on the Mediterranean island.
But Chantome added that there can be no excuse for dropping more
points this weekend.
"With the new dimension that this club has taken on, we are now
obliged to win every game," he said.
"We are still learning how to play together, but the signs were
there in the second half against Lorient that we are getting
Opponents Ajaccio won at Nice last Saturday to move on to one
point after beginning the campaign with minus two as a punishment
for trouble at their final home match of last season.
And the islanders have made headlines this week with their
pursuit of controversial Romanian striker Adrian Mutu.
The former Juventus and Chelsea player, who was sacked by the
London club in 2004 after testing positive for cocaine, has
agreed terms with Ajaccio but his proposed transfer from Serie B
outfit Cesena will not be completed before the visit of PSG.
Lille, seen by many as the best bet to challenge PSG in this
season's Ligue 1 title race, play their first game in their
impressive new home when they face Nancy on Friday evening.
There will be a sell-out crowd of just over 50,000 at the Grand
Stade, almost treble their average attendance at their old home
and a clear sign of the northern club's potential.
"The new stadium has helped us bring in new players," says coach
Rudi Garcia, who has been able to attract France playmaker Marvin
Martin and former Chelsea winger Salomon Kalou this summer.
"From speaking to the likes of Kalou and Martin I know that the
new stadium had a major impact in their decision."
"For the opposition, coming here and playing in front of at least
40,000 Lille fans, I think that will have an impact on them. It
could be an extra asset for us."
After coming so close to beating PSG at the Parc des Princes on
the opening day for the second year running, Lorient entertain
champions Montpellier on their artificial surface in Brittany.
Montpellier -- who lost in Lorient en route to their stunning
title triumph last season -- will again be without injured duo
Anthony Mounier and Younes Belhanda, as well as the suspended
Jamel Saihi and Marco Estrada.
Lyon, who have agreed a deal to sign Serbia defender Milan
Bisevac from PSG, will hope to make it two wins out of two when
they play host to promoted Troyes, while Marseille are in action
at home to Sochaux and Bordeaux face Rennes on Sunday.
Fixtures (all kick-off times GMT)
Lille v Nancy (1845)
Lyon v Troyes (1500), Bastia v Reims, Brest v Evian, Lorient v
Montpellier, Toulouse v Saint-Etienne, Valenciennes v Nice (all
Bordeaux v Rennes, Marseille v Sochaux (both 1500), Ajaccio v
Paris Saint-Germain (1900)