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Complacency the biggest threat to unbeaten PSG
Updated published : 31 Oct 2013 01:31:53Rss feed
Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc has warned against complacency as his side attempt to extend their long unbeaten run when they host Lorient at the Parc des Princes on Friday.
The reigning Ligue 1 champions are unbeaten in 22 Ligue 1 games since a 1-0 loss at Reims in March and have not tasted defeat in 15 matches in all competitions this season.
Indeed, they have not lost any of their last 30 competitive outings, with the exception of a penalty shoot-out defeat to Evian in last season's French Cup.
The club record of 37 games without losing is in sight, although Blanc saw his side come within seconds of ending that streak against Saint-Etienne last weekend, when they fought back from 2-0 down to draw deep inside stoppage time.
The visit of Lorient comes four days before the Champions League encounter with Anderlecht and Blanc knows the importance of maintaining their focus on holding on to top spot in Ligue 1 from Monaco, who sit second on goal difference.
"When you look at the run we are on, the biggest danger for us is complacency. As long as we don't let up we can continue this run. We need to fight against that," said Blanc.
"It is something I've been talking about since the beginning of the season because Paris are the reigning champions and are coming off an excellent last season. Now the discourse is even more important because of the run we are on.
"The best thing that we could have done last weekend was beat Saint-Etienne. But we weren't able to. The match showed that we can be mentally very strong. That is a vital quality, especially with the games that lie ahead."
There was good news for Blanc this week with captain Thiago Silva returning to training after a month on the sidelines.
He will not feature against Lorient, but Javier Pastore should be in the squad after a spell out with a thigh injury.
Last weekend's draw means that Les Verts remain one of PSG's betes noires. In four meetings since the beginning of last season, the club from the capital have failed to win, and Friday's game sees them come up against another side who have caused them problems in recent times.
Lorient have visited the Parc des Princes on the opening day of each of the last two seasons, winning 1-0 in August 2011 and then drawing 2-2 in August last year, but only after being 2-0 up.
However, Christian Gourcuff's side are not in good form just now - they were knocked out of the League Cup by Nantes in midweek and went six Ligue 1 matches without winning before beating Sochaux 2-1 last weekend.
Meanwhile, the pressure is on Marseille heading into their game at Rennes on Saturday as they try to end a run of five consecutive defeats.
Last weekend saw Elie Baup's side lose 3-2 at home to Reims and they have slipped to sixth in the table, eight points behind the leaders. However, OM sporting director Jose Anigo said lessons could be learned from last season.
"Not many people remember now, but last season we lost four times in six games between the end of September and end of October," he said.
"Everyone was pointing out our limitations. We had to grin and bear it in order to enjoy the end of the season. We will keep going in order to eventually find a bit of blue sky and sunshine again."
The game of the weekend could be at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Sunday, where Lille will face Monaco, with the principality side putting their unbeaten record this league campaign on the line against a Lille outfit who are third and have gone six games without losing and without even conceding a goal.
Fixtures (Kick-offs 1900 GMT unless stated)
Paris Saint-Germain v Lorient (1930 GMT)
Rennes v Marseille (1600 GMT), Ajaccio v Valenciennes, Evian-Thonon-Gaillard v Toulouse, Lyon v Guingamp, Reims v Bastia, Sochaux v Saint-Etienne
Nice v Bordeaux (1300 GMT), Montpellier v Nantes (1600 GMT), Lille v Monaco (2000 GMT)
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