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Di Maria and Zlatan will miss first game for PSG

John Bridgen by John Bridgen @Besoccer - 0 246

Pin El centrocampista argentino Ángel di María durante su presentación como nuevo jugador del París Saint-Germain en París, Francia hoy 6 de agosto de 2015. El club parisino ha fichado al argentino por 63 millones de euros del Machester United. EFE
El centrocampista argentino Ángel di María durante su presentación como nuevo jugador del París Saint-Germain en París, Francia hoy 6 de agosto de 2015. El club parisino ha fichado al argentino por 63 millones de euros del Machester United. EFE

Di Maria and Zlatan will miss first game for PSG

John Bridgen by John Bridgen @Besoccer - 0 246

Three months after winning a third straight Ligue 1 title, Laurent Blanc's side resume domestic duties with a new star signing in tow

The arrival of Angel Di Maria has created a buzz ahead of the start of Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 defence, but talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss their season opener against Lille on Friday.

The 2014-15 campaign was a historic one for PSG, as Laurent Blanc's men completed an unprecedented domestic treble by winning Ligue 1, Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue.

PSG - who kicked off France's domestic campaign by beating Lyon in the Trophee des Champions last weekend - have further strengthened with the addition of Argentina winger Di Maria, who has brought to an end to an unhappy one-season stay at Manchester United.

The move represents a signal of intent from big-spending PSG, who have yet to replicate their domestic dominance in Europe.

Di Maria will not be available for PSG as they begin their quest for a fourth consecutive league title, and neither will Ibrahimovic.

Friday's encounter at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy is a tricky opener for the champions, and is made more difficult by the absence of last season's top scorer - who has been linked a move away during the transfer window - due to a knee injury.

PSG battered Lille 6-1 at the Parc des Princes in April, but the corresponding fixture ended 1-1 in December and there has been an overhaul under Herve Renard during the close-season after he was appointed as Rene Girard's replacement in May.

Renard - who led Cote d'Ivoire to Africa Cup of Nations glory earlier this year - takes over a side that finished eighth last term and he wasted no time in putting his stamp on the squad.

High-profile players such as Simon Kjaer and Idrissa Gueye have departed for Fenerbahce and Aston Villa respectively, while Mounir Obbadi and Junior Tallo are among those to have signed during a busy few months.

Facing PSG in the first game of the season would be daunting for most, but Renard is excited by the challenge of facing the champions in his competitive Lille bow.

"It's nice to get PSG at home to start," he said. "You couldn't ask for a better start. The focus has to be on us and making the least amount of errors possible.

"The absence of Ibrahimovic does not change much. PSG have quality players to replace him."

John Bridgen

John Bridgen

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