Ligue 1 Preview: Montpellier v PSG
By Football News
New PSG boss Laurent Blanc aims to hit the ground running when his expensively assembled side begin their Ligue 1 title defence on Friday.
The reigning champions have spent more than €100million during the close-season in a bid to improve their already talented squad, with more than half of that going on striker Edinson Cavani from Napoli, while Marquinhos and Lucas Digne have also joined the club in big-money deals.
Those new additions have made PSG even stronger as they aim to reclaim the title they won by 12 points from Marseille last year, and Blanc knows that the pressure is on to deliver another success.
After a mixed pre-season, featuring two wins and two defeats, PSG lifted the first trophy of the new campaign with a 2-1 victory over Bordeaux in the Trophee des Champions on Saturday.
Despite the victory, Blanc was quick to warn his team that now they are the team to beat in French football and there will be no such thing as an easy game.
"This season, every side will be super-motivated when it comes time to play against PSG, this (the Trophee des Champions) was a good example of what we can expect this season," he said.
"Our pre-season preparation has been tough, we only got some players back quite late on in the piece and we're still not quite ready.
"What lies ahead will be tough, but those are exactly the kind of challenges that are the most exciting. (Against Bordeaux) we saw some young lads make a very good first impression, and that proves that PSG is not just a team of stars, we also have some great homegrown talent coming through."
Of the new signings to have arrived at the Parc des Princes, it remains to be seen whether Cavani will feature.
The striker was not involved in the triumph over Bordeaux and may not make his debut after being called up by Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez for their friendly clash with Japan.
Marquinhos is also a doubt with an injury.
Montpellier could not have been given a harder opening to the season, but after an unbeaten warm-up campaign they will be hoping to use their momentum to make a strong start.
Like their opponents, they have strengthened their squad during the close-season, with defender Siaka Tiene likely to be given an immediate chance to play against his former club.
The 31-year-old made 75 appearances in the French capital during his three-year stay at PSG, but found opportunities hard to come by last season, and he will be hoping to gain a starting berth in new coach Jean Fernandez's first XI.