Olympique de Marseille's 2-1 loss away at OGC Nice in Friday night's Derby de la Mediterranee has once again presented Paris Saint-Germain with an excellent opportunity to usurp Marcelo Bielsa's second-placed side in the Ligue 1 table.
Each time the southerners have slipped up so far, Laurent Blanc's men have failed to take advantage of their bitter rivals' errors. However, with PSG in improving form and facing a tough test away at AS Saint-Etienne on Sunday, the French champions cannot afford to...
Manchester United are interested in signing PSG defender Marquinhos, according to the player's agent Giuliano Bertolucci.
Marquinhos, 20, is rated as one of the best young players in the world but has struggled for playing time in the French capital -- starting only 10 games in the league -- with Thiago Silva and David Luiz first-choice centre-backs for Laurent Blanc's men.
More than halfway through the 2014-15 season, Paris Saint-Germain looks like a shadow of last season's team. The 2013-14 PSG that comfortably won Ligue 1 and advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals by overwhelming opponents with its attacking talent has gone away, and in its place is a club that has been hampered by a league-high eight draws and currently sits in third place, four points out of the top position in Ligue 1.
PSG's inconsistent attacking play makes it a threat to miss out on a third consecutive Ligue 1 title, and while the team has 28-1 odds to win the Champions League, it will first need to advance past Chelsea in the round of 16 to restore hope for a European trophy.
What's gone wrong for Laurent Blanc & Co.? Here is a look at why PSG's attack has been so stagnant in 2014-15 and why that will likely prevent the team from taking home any major silverware this season.
Ibrahimovic's declining impact
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has missed eight games this season with a heel injury, and PSG's four draws in those eight games have cost the team critical points in the Ligue 1 standings. Ibrahimovic plays an essential role as a center forward in the team's 4-3-3 formation, not only because he can outmuscle defenders in the penalty area with his 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame, but also because he is adept at dropping into the midfield and creating chances for the rest of the team. Therefore, it is no surprise that PSG is not the same attacking team without him, and in his absence the team averages two fewer shots per game and 15 percent fewer touches in the attacking third.
But even when healthy this season, Ibrahimovic has struggled to be as dominant as he's been in previous seasons....