PSG have a huge game next week in Champions League (away at Barcelona) a game that is by far more important than any Ligue1 encounter.
Champions League is a clear objective for the Qatari owners and the first step is playing against an accessible opponent in the 8th finals. They need at least a draw to top the group and surely will preserve energy in order to be as fresh as possible against Barcelona.
The defense should suffer most changes, with fullbacks Digne and Aurier and central defender Marquinhos most probably in the lineup. Bahebeck and Rabiot may also feature from the start.
PSG’s regular players won’t push that hard, won’t assume any risks of getting injured and will play with Barcelona in their minds.
Ibrahimovic should return to the squad after being rested last round.
Last round Nantes’ coach Der Zakarian made a few uninspired changes and the consequences were seen in the final result (Nantes 1-2 Toulouse).
Striker Bammou is one of Nantes’ most in-form players but was left only on the bench against Toulouse. Shechter was preferred instead and once again his performance was a huge let down.
Talented winger Gakpe was also only a bench warmer and Audel started instead on the left flank. Audel was mostly absent and forced Nantes to always switch play on the right side. As a result right fullback Cissokho and winger N’Koudou were Nantes’ most active players.
It is hard to understand why coach Der Zakarian made those decisions, as no coach in the world rests key players for them to be fresh for a much more powerful opponent. Instead reserves are always used when the schedule is tight and up against stronger sides.
PSG will be softer than usual with the overall strength diminished (will use a couple of reserves), not willing to assume any risks and thinking mostly at their Champions League game next week. If coach Der Zakarian will start with the best lineup possible Nantes are capable of making a nice surprise. Nantes +1.5 at 1.95
UPDATE: PSG welcome back Ibrahimovic, Chantome and Cabaye and we may see them all in the lineup.
PSG: Sirigu, Douchez – Aurier, Z.Camara, David Luiz, Digne, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Maxwell, Van der Wiel – Verratti, Rabiot, Pastore, Cabaye, Chantôme, Matuidi – Ibrahimovic, Lavezzi, Lucas Cavani
Nantes: Dupé, Ré.Riou – Alhadhur, I.Cissokho, Djilobodji, Veigneau, Vizcarrondo – Bedoya, Bessat, Deaux, R.Gomis, Hansen, Nkoudou, Veretout – Bammou, I.Bangoura, Gakpé, Shechter