Last season Bastia’s biggest problems was scoring goals. They were confident enough in the defensive phase, but always struggled to find solutions upfront. Winger Ayite was their topscorer with 8 goals scored, but now he transferred-out, same as key fullback Palmieri.
Especially in the second part of the season, Palmieri was more of a winger than a fullback, and was often initiating attacking actions. A couple of other players also left the squad (forward Brandao, wingers Kamano and Mabolou, defender Modesto), but Palmieri and Ayite are by far the most important ones.
In the attempt to try and replace Palmieri and Ayite, Bastia brought-in a couple of offensive players, all of them familiar with Ligue1 football, and all of them talented and promising players. They are all versatile players, and can play both in the center and on the flanks: Bifouma, Nangis, Crivelli, Saint-Maximin. Surely at one point they will all be starters, but the problem is they never played together, and may take some time to build playing relations.
It will be difficult for everyone to get accustomed to a new PSG without Ibrahimovic. Fans, the media, everyone will have to find a new idol to worship.
But for PSG’s players, Ibrahimovic’s transfer may not be such bad news. It is no mystery that Ibrahimovic was a leader, a strong hand, both in the field and in the locker room, and there were a couple of rumors describing how Ibrahimovic used to yell and insult some of his teammates. This can be very intimidating, especially for young players, and can be a real obstacle in achieving full potential. Some of PSG’s players may feel more comfortable now, and we may see them outdoing themselves (Pastore for example).
PSG transferred-in forward Ben Arfa to replace Ibrahimovic. Ben Arfa is a highly skilled player, familiar with Ligue1, and is definitely a favorite for being Ligue1 top-scorer this season. Defensive midfielder Krychowiak arrived from Seville, but he will have problems in finding a place in the lineup, regardless the huge fee paid (around 30 mil euro). Krychowiak is one of the favorite players of the new coach Unai Emery (used to be at Sevilla together), but with competition like Motta, Verratti, Matuidi and Stambouli, it will difficult for Krychowiak to assure a place in the lineup.
Besides a couple of high profile friendlies that PSG won (against Inter, Real , Leicester), they already played an official game which they easily won (4-1 against Lyon in the French Super Cup). Cavani and Thiago Silva missed that game, but according to latest reports Cavani may return, while Silva will once again miss.
It seems that PSG will play in the 4-2-3-1 system this season, with valuable replacements on all positions. They won’t be having any problems in case of injuries, regardless the names of the players and the fees paid for them.
Bastia will rely mostly on home games, they always do, but in this moment they are weaker than last season, while PSG are already in excellent form and the season hasn’t even begun. PSG -1.25 at 1.97
UPDATE: Bastia will have to do without midfielder Raspentino and Diallo. PSG will miss forward Cavani, and defenders Silva and Marquinhos.
Bastia: Leca, Charruau – Cioni, Djiku, Squillaci, Peybernes, Marange – Cahuzac, Mostefa, La.Coulibaly, Danic, S.Diallo, Ngando – Crivelli, Bifouma, Saint-Maximin, Cabral, Nangis
PSG: Areola, Trapp – Aurier, David Luiz, Kimpembe, Kurzawa, Maxwell, Meunier – Krychowiak, Matuidi, Pastore, Rabiot, Thiago Motta, Verratti – Ben Arfa, Di Maria, Ikoné, Lucas, Jesé