French Ligue 1, Leagues, Lille, Paris Saint-Germain, Story


Paris St Germain are determined to get back on track in the remaining matches before the winter break in Ligue 1, according to winger Julian Draxler.

By their standards, PSG have endured a torrid week.

Unai Emery’s side suffered a first defeat in 26 games in all competitions – a run stretching back to April – as they lost 2-1 at Strasbourg last weekend before then being beaten 3-1 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

It is the first time since December 2014 that PSG have lost back-to-back matches.

The runaway league leaders host Lille on Saturday ahead of games against Strasbourg, in the Coupe de la Ligue, Rennes and Caen before the schedule in France takes a two-week break.

Draxler told the club’s official website: “It was a difficult game at Strasbourg. We perhaps had our minds on the Bayern game already as it was coming up just afterwards. It’s normal there are ups and downs in a season.

“Of course we’re not happy to lose these two games, but we’ve finished top of the group in the Champions League – that’s important for us – and we’re still nine points clear in Ligue 1. Now we have to win at home to Lille. There are three (league) games after that and our aim is to win them all.

PSG will be without the suspended Neymar on Saturday as he serves a one-match ban, while skipper Thiago Silva is struggling with knee and calf injuries sustained against Bayern at the Allianz Arena.

“For me, what’s important is that we’re playing at home. I love playing at the Parc des Princes: the atmosphere, the pitch…there’s everything there to play well. If we play to our best, I’m certain we’ll win the game,” said Draxler.

Lille travel to the capital without the suspended Fode Ballo-Toure but are boosted by back-to-back wins under their interim management quartet.

Lille lost 3-0 at Montpellier in their first game under Joao Sacramento, Fernando Da Cruz, Benoit Delaval and Franck Mantaux, who have been in charge since Marcelo Bielsa was suspended by the club last month, but bounced back to win 2-1 at Lyon before a 1-0 home success against Toulouse saw the club climb out of the relegation places.

“There is a bit more confidence, because when you put together two good results and take six points out of six from the last two games, it brings serenity to our daily lives and confidence to the players,” Da Cruz told Ligue1.com.

“We need to keep working and pick up the maximum number of points possible between now and the winter break. We will try to get something against Paris, but they have eight wins from eight matches at home, with an average of 3.5 goals per game, so it will be very, very difficult and we are expecting to suffer.”

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