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Perfect PSG wait on Zlatan, di Maria

20 August 2015, 17:15

Paris - Paris Saint-Germain come calling on bottom-club Montpellier on Friday intent on retaining their perfect start to the new Ligue 1 season.

Laurent Blanc's reigning French champions haven't put a foot wrong in their pursuit of a fourth straight league trophy so far.

Their championship run began in 2013 when they succeeded the team they face on Friday as title-holders.

A rare season-opening success over Lille followed by last weekend's 2-0 defeat of Corsican newcomers Gazelac Ajaccio has left PSG in familiar surroundings, on top of the pile, in company with Reims and Caen.

The big question mark for PSG fans, and Montpellier, is whether Zlatan Ibrahimovic will take to the pitch. The Swedish striker has missed out on the opening skirmishes with a right knee sprain. He took part in training on Wednesday but is by no means certain to be judged fit enough to line up.

Also read: Di Maria signs four-year deal with PSG

Similar doubts hang over the participation of Argentina winger Angel di Maria.

The 63 million-euro (44.3m; $68.9m) signing from Manchester United was introduced to the Paris fans before kick-off at the Parc des Princes last weekend, but was not fit enough to make his debut.

Di Maria continues his race for full fitness after coming away from Argentina's defeat to hosts Chile in the Copa America final with a thigh injury.

PSG have nothing to fear from recent history with Montpellier's last home win over the capital club back in 2003.

While the glory days of of 2012 may seem a long way off Montpellier, under charismatic coach Rolland Courbis, took a respectable seventh place last term.

They owe their position at the foot of the table on two defeats, to Rennes and Angers.

The strain of their poor start appears to be taking its toll with Montpellier president Louis Nicollin questioning coach Courbis's pre-season preparations.

"I adore Courbis but his notion of not playing any friendly games concerns me as I'd predicted (a bad start). Now I don't know when it's going to stop. I'm scared."

Courbis responded: "I read what he (Nicollin) had to say, I found what he said hard, but it's logical he's not happy.

"If we're going to trouble PSG we have to all remain solid."

Monaco, who are up against it to make the Chamnpions League group phase after a first leg 3-1 play-off loss to Valencia in midweek, are in action on Saturday at Toulouse.

In other games Lyon, who ran Monaco closest last term, host Rennes, Reims are on the road at Nantes while Caen make the long trip south to Nice.

Marseille, under new Spanish coach Michel, are in action against Troyes on Sunday.

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