LOSC Lille welcome Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain at Stade Pierre-Mauroy as the Parisians look to maintain their lead on top of the French division.

LOSC Lille hosts Paris Saint-Germain looking to secure their first win over the Ligue 1 toppers for the first time in six years. Eden Hazard’s goal in 2012 had secured them a 2-1 victory over PSG and since that day, Lille have failed to beat their rivals in a competitive match at home.

PSG, on the other hand, will be looking to maintain their momentum atop the Ligue 1 table, as they currently hold an 11-point advantage over second-placed Lyon, who beat them a few weeks back. From that defeat, PSG bounced back against Montpellier with a thumping 4-0 victory.

In the game against Montpellier, PSG frontman, Edinson Cavani netted his 157th goal to break the club record previously set by former Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and at the weekend against Lille he hopes to add more to that tally.

Lille recorded a morale-boosting victory over Strasbourg, which also took them above the relegation play-off place, but a defeat against PSG could put them back into the bottom three. The former Ligue 1 champions will not be hoping such a scenario and would try their level best to get a result out of the tie.

Team News & Tactics

LOSC Lille

Lille will be without midfielder Thiago Maia, who is most likely out of the fixture through injury. Central defender Adama Soumaoro and right back Kevin Malcuit are also doubts but will face late fitness tests to decide on their inclusion.

Lille will stick with more or less the players available after the Strasbourg clash, and the idea will be to test the weak link in PSG’s team set up, which is the defence. Lille’s attackers have scored in all but one of the last eight home games in Ligue 1.

Potential lineup (5-3-2) – Maignan; Faraj, Le, Alonso, Dabila, Toure; Bissouma, Amadou, Mendes; Pepe, Ponce

Paris Saint-Germain

PSG, despite their dominance this season in Ligue 1, have a few injury and suspensions of their own. PSG will be without captain Thiago Silva who has been nursing a thigh injury for some time now and thus will play no part in the Lille game. The Parisians will also be without Julian Draxler who is out with a back injury.

Kylian Mbappe played in the cup tie against Rennes and received a straight red card during the match. Hence the forward would play no part in the Lille game and will miss two further games here on as he serves a three-game suspension. Dani Alves is also suspended for the Lille clash.

Despite Mbappe’s absence, manager Unai Emery’s concern does not lie in attack but defence. PSG having conceded two late goals against Rennes raises questions about the defending at the Paris club, as they have let opposing teams score two goals in three of the last four matches.

PSG sold winger Lucas Moura to Tottenham on deadline day, but despite that have plenty of options available at their disposal when it comes to attackers. Angel Di Maria could start as part of the front three, combining with Neymar and Edinson Cavani.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3) – Areola; Munier, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Kurzawa; Verratti, Lo Celso, Rabiot; Di Maria, Neymar, Cavani

Key Stats

  • PSG have won 8 of their last nine matches against Lille in all competitions.
  • PSG have been winning at both half time and full time in 6 of their last seven matches
  • PSG have kept a clean sheet in their last 3 away matches against Lille in all competitions.
  • Lille have seen under 2.5 goals in their last four home matches against PSG in all competitions.
  • Lille have seen over 2.5 goals in their last three matches against PSG in all competitions.

Player to watch

Edinson Cavani

Paris Saint-Germain's Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani falls during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Montpellier (MHSC) at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on January 27, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

Paris Saint-Germain’s Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani became the club’s record goalscorer with his striker against Montpellier. (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty Images)

At the heart of PSG’s blistering attacking trio, Cavani has been in a hot streak of form in Paris, and the goals refuse to dry up for the Uruguayan. Despite some early season tussle with club record signing Neymar, Cavani has struck a great partnership with the Brazilian and Mbapppe.

Cavani broke PSG’s club record for most goals scored at the club, previously held by former star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, against Montpellier. But Cavani is still four goals behind the enigmatic Swede in Ligue 1 goals.

Cavani will undoubtedly see the games against Lille and the next few fixtures as an opportunity to close on to Zlatan’s record. Along with that, the striker would also want to build up his confidence further for PSG’s blockbuster clash with Real Madrid in the Champions League in the coming weeks.

Prediction

Lille 1-4 PSG

PSG surely have defensive problems, but their attack more than makes up for that. Although Kylian Mbappe would miss the Lille game, Unai Emery has no shortage of elite attackers in his ranks. Expect a trio of Neymar, Di Maria and Cavani to run riot at Lille.

Lille’s dismal record this season in Ligue 1 and the flying form of PSG which has seen them take an 11-point lead at the top of the table, all point towards one eventual winner from this clash – Paris Saint Germain.

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