The biggest match of the Ligue 1 season occurs tonight between reigning champions PSG and current league leaders OGC Nice. Here are some pre-match thoughts.
1 | The former hero out to become a villain
Hatem Ben Arfa faces his former club Nice for the first time since his departure in the summer. Having had a few games under his belt recently and slowly regaining his form, he could be out to haunt his former employers and remind them of what they used to enjoy before the Lucien Favre era.
2 | To Balotelli or not Balotelli?
The Italian returned to fitness in midweek but the question of if he should start remains unanswered. Replacing top scorer Alassane Plea could be a tough blow for the young Frenchman and 25 minutes of Mario later on in the match could be a frightening sight for tired PSG legs.
3 | Can Di Maria stop sulking?
With reports of his attitude flaring up again, Angel Di Maria needs to use this high-profile game to prove his doubters wrong. He must shine after such a poor start to the season but if he throws his arms around in frustration, it might be the fans that will be stropping at him soon.
4 | How do you fill the Baysse hole?
Nice have ran steadily for the past few weeks but they haven’t looked quite as solid without Paul Baysse. With the defender out of this one, does Favre risk playing Dante and Malang Sarr without extra cover or does Mathieu Bodmer or Arnaud Souquet come in to add to their steel at the back, allowing Nice to revert to their back 5.
5 | Final straw for Emery?
After a heavy defeat in Montpellier last weekend and a poor draw against Ludogorets in Europe, this is an enormous game for Unai Emery. Get it right and the pressure will be off until February but if he loses this one, with PSG seven points off top spot and the draw for the Champions League knockout stages on Monday, that hot seat might become boiling sooner rather than later.