Claudio Ranieri's Nantes give Paris St Germain boss Unai Emery cause for concern



Posted Saturday, November 18, 2017 by PA

Paris St Germain boss Unai Emery is wary of the threat Claudio Ranieri's Nantes pose to the Ligue 1 leaders' unbeaten run.

The Parisians host fifth-placed Nantes on Saturday as they look to make it 13 league games without defeat this season.

Emery's men have also won all four of their Champions League fixtures without conceding a goal, but the former Sevilla boss is taking nothing for granted against a side that have lost just one of their last 10 league outings under Ranieri.

"Last season, Nantes did a great job under Sergio Conceicao, and the team has maintained that standard under Ranieri," Emery said in his pre-match press conference, according to PSG's website.

"They are very well organised, very strong and it's difficult to score against them.

"Ranieri has fantastic experience in football. He won the Premier League with Leicester, and that's not easy.

"He has clear ideas about the game and they are very hard to beat. We need to prepare well, respect our opponent, be patient to create and exploit the space."

PSG have dropped points in just two games this season, drawing away to Montpellier and Marseille.

Since the latter, PSG have won their three games in all competitions by a combined scoreline of 13-0.

Despite forward Neymar missing the last two league games, PSG have shined with a midfield three of Marco Verratti, Adrien Rabiot and Julian Draxler.

Emery praised the trio's influence in the absence of veteran Thiago Motta, who is sidelined with a knee injury.

"They are doing well, adapting well," he said. "We have greater movement with them.

"Draxler is a player that can get forward, run in behind the defence. Thiago Motta has a clearer role as sentinel in front of the defence. Verratti and Rabiot help build and construct the play."

Neymar is expected to play at the weekend, while Draxler and Thomas Meunier will be monitored before the game but young defender Presnel Kimpembe is suspended.

Nantes, who remain without injured striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, go into the clash just two points behind third-placed Lyon and nine adrift of their opponents.

And Ranieri believes the pressure is off his team at the Parc des Princes.

"I want my team to be relaxed, play with determination and put in a good performance," Ranieri told Ligue1.com.

"I know we might lose the game, but we need to try to play as we have up to now, to be compact and attentive. And then if one of their great players invents something, congratulations to them.

"Champions League teams like Bayern Munich and Anderlecht have lost to them, so Nantes could lose too, but I am curious to see how we perform."

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