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Football

Strasbourg face Bordeaux after PSG heroics

Unai Emery's PSG lost to Strasbourg and will seek to return to winning ways in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
Unai Emery's PSG lost to Strasbourg and will seek to return to winning ways in Ligue 1 on Saturday. Reuters/Christian Hartmann

Bordeaux host a buoyant Strasbourg side on Friday night aiming to reboot a flailing Ligue 1 campaign. The hosts were battered 6-2 by Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes on 30 September and have only won one game of the eight matches that proceeded the thrashing.

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Strasbourg visit the Matmut Atlantique on the back of last Saturday's exploit against PSG. Considered cannon fodder, they welcomed the Parisian pacesetters to the Stade de la Meinau on 2 December and sent them back to the capital nursing their bruises and egos following their first defeat of the season.

This victory maintained an unbeaten streak stretching back four games which has yielded eight points from a possible 12. Strasbourg sit in 16th place with 18 points, two points above the drop zone. Bordeaux are 11th with 20 points. Their hopes of a victory were hit on the eve of the match when star midfielder Malcom was ruled out with an ankle injury.

The Brazilian has been one of the bright spots of the season scoring seven and setting up four goals in 16 matches.

Bordeaux boss Jocelyn Gourvennec is likely to field Nicolas De Préville or François Kamano instead of the 20-year-old.

Despite boasting a nine point cushion over second placed Lyon, the chill of crisis has descended on Unai Emery's expensively assembled troops at PSG since the surprise 2-1 loss at Strasbourg and the 3-1 slump at Bayern Munich in the Uefa Champions League on 5 December. The PSG faithful have had to digest consecutive defeats for the first time since 2014.

Normal service should be resumed on Saturday afternoon at the Parc des Princes against 17th placed Lille who have lost five of their eight games on the road this season. But the visitors have recorded back-to-back wins since suspending Marcelo Bielsa on 22 November and replacing the combustible Argentine with a team of four interim coaches.

In the prelude to the match, the French sports daily L'Equipe turned up the heat on Emery suggesting the Spaniard could be replaced in the coming weeks, with Massimiliano Allegri, Antonio Conte and Diego Simeone mentioned as potential successors.

Nasser Al Khelaifi, the PSG president, said after the defeat in Bavaria: "We didn't perform. I am very disappointed about the result, the quality of our play, especially in the first half. But I am optimistic for the future. It is a lesson for everybody."

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