PSG will be hoping to narrow down the gap between themselves and Nice when they welcome Rennes to the Parc des Princes on Sunday.
At the start of this season, no one could have predicted how things would look after 11 rounds of action. Especially considering how PSG cruised to the league title last term. Yet, it is not Les Parisiens on top of the table, but rather Nice. Les Aiglons, who are currently led by Lucien Favre, have been truly a revelation this campaign. They finished in fourth last year, but right now, are leading the pack by a very comfortable six-point margin. This means that whatever takes place this weekend, Nice will still head into the international break on top of the pile.
Of course, PSG, who find themselves in third, will want to close that gap to three. Although they are among the highest scoring sides in the division, they are not immune to critics. Despite having the strongest defense, with just seven conceded, many feel that Unai Emery’s side are not where they should be. And to be honest, they are not. That is an unfortunate by-product of their record-breaking run last season. But having lost twice – to Toulouse and Monaco – there is not the same kind of fear factor surrounding them. Indeed, it appears that teams are not afraid to take on the capital giants, regardless of their spending power.
That, from a neutral perspective, is a good thing. After all, one awesome aspect about the Premier League is the fact that at least five teams realistically have a chance at winning the title. In any case, the hosts come into this game having ground out a 2-1 win over Basel. Although Thiago Silva was forced off with a head injury, he should be fine to start. That’s certainly encouraging as he has been a huge part of their strong home form. PSG have actually managed to keep clean sheets in seven out of their last eight Ligue 1 home ties, and will want to make it eight in nine on Sunday.
Against Rennes, they also have a good record. Not only have they won their past three meetings, but also have kept a clean sheet. Meanwhile, the visitors have been in solid form as of late. They presently sit in fifth, with three wins out of their last five matches. Les Rouges et Noirs, however, are missing quite a few players. Mexer, Clément Chantôme, Christian Brüls, and Sanjin Prcic are all unavailable due to injury. Benjamin André is out as a result of a ban. As such, Christian Gourcuff will be really hoping that his son Yoann and Kamil Grosicki will recover in time for this match.
The onus, of course will be on PSG. Rennes did win this fixture, but that was over two years ago. That being said, teams are not as star-struck when they face PSG as they were in prior seasons. Will the visitors use their solid form to help them shock the reigning champions? Or will Les Parisiens successfully narrow the gap with a vital win?