Paris Saint-Germain will look to continue their superb run of form when they travel to Lyon to face Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday evening.
After a stuttering start to the campaign, notably losing to Stade Rennais, PSG have enjoyed an extraordinary run of form. The French champions are currently on a four game-winning run in all competitions, during which they have conceded no goals at all.
Their most recent victory came against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League in midweek. The 3-0 win at Paris will serve as a huge morale booster ahead of an equally tricky test against Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday evening. A win will be imperative as the visitors look to retain their status as league leaders, especially with Rennes breathing down their necks.
However, Lyon could make things difficult as they are one of the most strongest sides in France. That being said, they have had quite an underwhelming start to the campaign, having already dropped seven points in their first five league games.
The French giants are also coming on the back of a draw with Zenit St. Petersburg in midweek. And confidence will be low as they face the defending champions this weekend. And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the two sides ahead of this fascinating encounter in Ligue 1.
Team News & Tactics
Lyon manager Sylvinho will be boosted by the return of Youssouf Kone and Thiago Mendes, both of whom are coming back from suspension. Mendes will slot in straight into the base of Lyon’s 4-3-3, as he did against Zenit in midweek.
However, the new signing from LOSC Lille will be partnered by Lucas Tousart given the nature of the opposition. Tousart is also a holding midfielder and could team up with Mendes is disrupting PSG’s flow in the middle of the park.
Youngster Jeff Reine-Adelaide is unlikely to be risked in this high-profile encounter. He will be replaced by Houssem Aouar, who will operate in a slightly more advanced role. It will be interesting to see how much creativity he can provide against this solid PSG defence.
Returning Kone, meanwhile, will replace Leo Dubois, who started in the last league game against Amiens at left-back. However, the 25-year-old will be utilized on the opposite flank, replacing Kenny Tete, who featured as a right-back last weekend.
The Lyon attack will be led by Moussa Dembele, partnered by the wide attacking duo of Memphis Depay and Bertrand Traore. Maxwel Cornet and Martin Terrier will provide additional options to Sylvinho going forward.
And finally, in defence, Joachim Andersen is guaranteed to return after sitting out against Zenit. The ex-Sampdoria star will feature alongside Marcelo at the heart of Lyon’s four-man backline.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Lopes; Dubois, Andersen, Marcelo, Kone; Aouar, Mendes, Tousart; Traore, Dembele, Depay
PSG are currently facing an injury crisis, with Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Julian Draxler all missing out. And to make things worse, Mauro Icardi and Pablo Sarabia have also been ruled out, leaving Thomas Tuchel devoid of options in the attacking department.
Neymar, however, is poised to return to the starting lineup. And the Brazilian is tipped to lead the PSG attack in the absence of both Cavani and Icardi. Angel Di Maria and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will partner him in the wider attacking slots, with the former scoring a brace against Real Madrid in midweek.
We could expect a slight change in midfield as well, with Ander Herrera replacing Marquinhos. That means Idrissa Gueye will occupy the defensive midfield slot, while both Herrera and Marco Verratti will operate in slightly advanced roles.
Marquinhos will revert to his preferred centre-back role, at the expense of Presnel Kimpembe. He will be partnered by Thiago Silva, with Thomas Meunier and Juan Bernat operating as full-backs. Thilo Kehrer is still out injured with a foot injury while Abdou Diallo will once again settle for a place on the bench.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Navas; Meunier, Silva, Marquinhos, Bernat; Verratti, Gueye, Herrera; Di Maria, Neymar, Choupo-Moting
- No other team have beaten PSG more often in Ligue 1 than Lyon during the Qatari era since August 2011.
- Lyon have won four of their last six home Ligue 1 games against Paris Saint-Germain, after winning just one of their previous five.
- Lyon are winless in their last three Ligue 1 games after winning their previous five.
- PSG have won six of their last eight Ligue 1 games after winning just one of their previous six. Les Parisiens have won their last three Ligue 1 games, the best current such run in the top-flight alongside Marseille and Nantes.
- Lyon have lost just one of their last 12 home games in the league – scoring in each of those matches.
Player to Watch
With Cavani, Mbappe and Icardi missing out, the extra burden will be on Neymar to provide the spark in the final third. The Brazilian sensation missed the game against Real Madrid due to a suspension. But, his return will surely be a boost for the visitors, who have almost all of their main attackers out injured.
Neymar is likely to feature in a central role, where his pace and trickery could be ineffective given the attention he would receive from the two central defenders. Hence, it will be a challenge for the ex-Barcelona star, who will be disappointed to have missed out on his dream return to Catalonia in the summer.
Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how Neymar plans to break apart this Lyon defence that has looked susceptible this season.
Lyon 1-1 PSG
Lyon have performed quite well against PSG, of late. And with their opponents decimated with injuries, it won’t be surprising to see the hosts coming out with at least a point in this tough encounter. A lot will depend on how PSG adapt to the absence of the injured players.