PSG will host bottom-dwellers Angers on Wednesday, Jan. 11, as part of Ligue 1's MD18. Through the first 17 games of the season, Paris Saint-Germain has won one more game (14) than Angers have lost (13). Will that distance grow a notch tomorrow?
It's been an up-and-down return to competitive play for PSG since the end of the World Cup break.
After debuting with a razor-thin victory over Strasbourg (2-1), then getting blasted by Lens (1-3), and finally cruising past Chareauroux (3-1) last Friday, PSG will try to defeat Angers on Wednesday to put together two victories in a row for the first time since November.
Christophe Galtier held a pre-match press conference on Tuesday afternoon in which he shared some interesting nuggets ahead of the matchup with Angers tomorrow. Here is what the coach said.
Asked about the new strategy of PSG based around building shorter squads relying more on their titis...
"This is not a strategy."
"Very good young people are coached, some left, and they can be found at the highest level (in their current teams)."
Christophe Galtier: "Zaire-Emery is capable of starting a Ligue 1 match but also in the Champions League"
"It was a desire to reduce the workforce to create space for our young talents."
"The titis were very interesting in the French Cup. They must be supervised by experienced players."
"During the winter transfer window, there will be no arrivals if there are no departures."
About Warren Zaire-Emery potentially starting tomorrow after becoming the youngest player to ever start a game for PSG last Friday...
"He is capable of starting a Ligue 1 match but also a Champions League match."
"I'm convinced of that, and we've all been convinced of that for a while."
"What reassures me on my analysis of Warren is that our greatest players have the same thoughts as us about him."
About Renato Sanches and Pablo Sarabia's struggles this season...
"Renato is doing well, he recently rejoined the training sessions with the team. He will be available for the Rennes game but not on Wednesday."
"Sarabia is a player who has not played much. It is always difficult to quickly find a form on that type of role."
"He was very interesting at the beginning of the match in the French Cup."
"I have seen the criticism (on Sarabia's form). He can't be satisfied with the performances he has had, but I think the criticism was, in my opinion, exaggerated."
About Nordi Mukiele, perhaps the best PSG player since returning from the break on a weekly basis...
"He is a player we wanted to have, he is very versatile."
"He integrated quickly with the group, and he has done a lot in recent weeks during the World Cup break."
"He has been satisfactory, and will keep being so with Achraf Hakimi recently returning from the World Cup."
About the friendly in Saudi Arabia being played in the middle of January (on the 19th)...
"The game was agreed and arranged last season, so the club must respect it."
"Is it in the right place? We had to respect the commitment that was made. I abide by the commitments that were made."
About Lionel Messi's contract extension at PSG...
"There are discussions, the (front office) has exchanged terms with Leo on the subject of an extension."
"I don't know where it stands."
"Leo seems happy in Paris. After that, we have to see his position in relation to the club's project. That's a subject I have not discussed with him."