jueves, 15 de septiembre de 2011

PSG vs Salzburg Preview

Paris St Germain are hoping their new-found wealth can get them back to challenging for honours in Ligue 1.

And they would surely be happy to follow the model laid out by Thursday's Europa League opponents Salzburg.

PSG were taken over by the Qatar Investment Authority earlier this year, and a summer spending spree followed, highlighted by the arrivals of big-money striker Javier Pastore and high-profile director of football Leonardo.

The hope is for a first Ligue 1 title since 1994, and what would be only the third in the club's history.

Five years ago, Salzburg were bought out by local energy drinks giant Red Bull, who immediately poured money into the club and installed Giovanni Trapattoni as coach, with the result being a first league title in a decade, and the fourth in the club's 77-year history. Two more have followed since.

The parallels are, however, lost on PSG's Zoumana Camara.

"I honestly do not know much about this club," he told PSG's website of Salzburg. "I understand they are first in their league with four wins already. Despite what people are saying, this group will not be easy for us, and we will have to beware all the other clubs.

"The important thing is to get out of the group."

While Salzburg's lavish spending was enough to see them take control of the Bundesliga, the Austrian league does not have the drawing power for top players that Paris and Ligue 1 does, and the project at the Parc des Princes will be on a much grander scale.

However, Salzburg coach Ricardo Moniz will not be heading to the French capital in fear of his opponents.

"PSG are a strong team for sure, but I am not over-awed," he said. "There's definitely a difference to preparing for a match against them than versus Baumgarten or Matterburg.

"We want to put in a fair showing in Paris and be more than just a sparring partner.

"We need to prepare ourselves mentally and if we do that anything is possible - as we proved two years ago in the Europa League."

Salzburg will be without several injured players, however, including star forward Alan, his fellow Brazilian Douglas and Dutch defender David Mendes da Silva, while Petri Pasanen is suspended.

Jakob Jantscher is doubtful with a knee injury.
PSG are without Guillaume Hoarau following a shoulder operation, while Mamadou Sakho and Clement Chantome remain doubts after missing the weekend victory over Brest.


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