PSG will be aiming to consolidate their place atop the Ligue 1 table when they take on Dijon FCO at Stade Gaston Gerard on Friday.
Ligue 1 football resumes this Friday with the onset of Matchday 12 of the 2019-20 season. Champions PSG will be in action first up this weekend when they make the trip to Stade Gaston Gerard to lock horns with Dijon FCO.
Dijon have struggled to put up much of a fight in the first couple of months of the 2019-20 season. Les Moutardes are currently rock bottom in Ligue 1, having managed to win just two of their 11 games so far. But, Stephane Jobard’s men were victorious the last time they were in action at home, beating Strasbourg 1-0.
PSG, on the other hand, are perched atop the Ligue 1 table, with second-placed Nantes a massive eight points behind. While the reigning champions had not been at their fluid best heading into October, they are starting to dominate their opponents, having scored four goals in each of their last three league outings.
The corresponding fixture last season ended in a comfortable 4-0 win for PSG, with Marquinhos, Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting on target for the visitors. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Team News & Tactics
Stephane Jobard has a few pressing injury concerns to deal with ahead of the visit of PSG. On Friday, the Dijon manager will be without four first-team players, with Nayef Aguerd (ankle), Frederic Sammartino (thigh), Jordan Marie (unspecified) and Stephy Mavididi (ankle) sidelined.
Jobard is expected to line his side up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Alfred Gomis likely to pip Runar Alex Runarsson to be the hosts’ goalkeeper. Fouad Chafik ought to be Dijon’s right-back, with Hamza Mendyl starting on the opposite flank. In the absence of Aguerd, Bruno Ecuele Manga should have Senou Coulibaly as his partner at the heart of the defence.
Centre-back Wesley Lautoa has been utilised as a holding midfielder so far this season and the 32-year-old is a certain starter in the middle of the park. Lautoa is likely to be accompanied by Didier Ndong in the midfield double pivot, with the 25-year-old becoming an indispensable figure in Jobard’s side.
Mama Balde and Jhonder Cadiz will likely be the two wide men for Dijon, with Matheus Pereira providing the creative thrust in the final third. Club captain Julio Tavares will lead the line for the hosts, looking to add to the three goals he has scored so far this season.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Gomis; Chafik, Ecuele Manga, Coulibaly, Mendyl; Lautoa, Ndong; Balde, Matheus Pereira, Cadiz; Tavares
Thomas Tuchel has a number of fresh roster issues to contend with ahead of the trip to face Dijon. On Friday, the PSG boss will be without as many as seven first-team players, with captain Thiago Silva excluded from the travelling squad due to illness.
Joining Silva on the sidelines, are Thilo Kehrer (foot), Thomas Meunier (thigh), Idrissa Gueye (hamstring), Ander Herrera (ankle), Marco Verratti (calf) and Neymar (hamstring). But, Tuchel still has plenty of resourced at his disposal to get past Dijon with relative ease.
Keylor Navas is a certain starter in goal, with Sergio Rico being his deputy. In Silva’s absence, Abdou Diallo will be Presnel Kimpembe’s central defensive partner. Colin Dagba is a certain starter on the right side of the PSG defence, particularly with Meunier and Kehrer unavailable. On the opposite flank, Juan Bernat picks himself.
Midfield is an area where Tuchel is down to his bare bones. Therefore, Marquinhos, Leandro Paredes and Pablo Sarabia become automatic selections for PSG, with Julian Draxler the only backup option in midfield.
Up ahead, Angel Di Maria, who has perhaps been PSG’s best player this season, will provide the creative impetus in the final third. Kylian Mbappe is now fully fit and should retain his place on the left side of the PSG attack, with Edinson Cavani likely to lead the line for the visitors after Tuchel urged the veteran striker to fight for his place in the side.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Navas; Dagba, Diallo, Kimpembe, Bernat; Sarabia, Marquinhos, Paredes; Di Maria, Cavani, Mbappe
- Dijon are one of two sides PSG have played the most top-flight games against without failing to win (8, level with Rouen).
- PSG have won their last three games against Dijon in Ligue 1 by at least four goals and could become the first side to win four consecutive matches against a single opponent by such a margin (+4) in the French top-flight.
- Dijon have amassed just nine points after 11 games in their 2019-20 Ligue 1 campaign, their lowest tally at this stage of the competition. Les Moutardes have won only two of their 11 league games in so far this term (D3 L6).
- PSG have scored in each of their last 24 away games in Ligue 1. Only CS Sedan between 1957 and 1959 (32) and Rennes between 2017 and 2019 (26) have gone on longer such runs.
- Julio Tavares has been involved in 80% of Dijon’s five goals in Ligue 1 2019/20 (3 goals, 1 assist), the highest percentage in the top-flight this season.
Player to Watch
Goals have been hard to come by so far this season for Dijon, who have had to depend largely on captain Julio Tavares for inspiration. Of the five goals they have scored in Ligue 1, Tavares has been directly involved in four of them, pointing towards just how crucial he is to his side’s fortunes.
Therefore, if Dijon are to spring a surprise on PSG on Friday, Tavares will need to be at his best. With PSG captain Thiago Silva unavailable, Dijon could have a slight glimmer of hope, one that the experienced striker will need to make good on.
Dijon FCO 0-4 PSG
PSG might have a raft of players unavailable for the trip to Dijon. But, despite the absence of some big-name players, the sheer gulf in quality between the two sides is undeniable. Angel Di Maria is in irresistible form, while Edinson Cavani will have a point to prove. And so, a comfortable win for PSG is on the cards, which is why The Hard Tackle predicts a 4-0 win for the Ligue 1 champions.