Paris Saint-Germain will be desperate to return to winning ways when they play hosts to Nantes at Parc des Princes on Wednesday evening.
Paris Saint-Germain will be looking to kickstart December on a positive note as they lock horns with Nantes at home tomorrow. The French champions are coming on the back of a 2-2 draw with Real Madrid, where they showed excellent character to come back from two goals down and secure a late draw.
Hence, confidence will be high on the PSG camp, also knowing the fact that a win could help them take a whopping eight-point lead over second-placed Marseille in the Ligue 1 table. Interestingly, Thomas Tuchel’s men are still yet to draw a single game in their domestic campaign so far, which, in turn, would be an ideal result for Nantes here.
The Canaries, however, are no pushovers as they are flying high with 23 points on the board. They have already secured wins over clubs like Olympique Lyonnais, Rennes and OGC Nice among many others.
However, Nantes have stuttered in recent weeks, securing just one win of their last six league matches. Hence, a draw would be sufficient for them in this fixture as they aim to avoid any humiliating defeat that could take a significant hit on the team morale.
And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two teams ahead of their highly anticipated encounter in Ligue 1 tomorrow.
Tactics & Team News
Tuchel will have to deal with the absence of several key players ahead of this fixture. Marco Verratti has sustained an injury in training and has been ruled out, along with Thilo Kehrer, Eric Maxim Choupo Moting and Ander Herrera. Presnel Kimpembe, meanwhile, is suspended.
Kimpembe’s absence means Marquinhos is guaranteed to drop deep and form the central defensive partnership alongside the experienced figure of Thiago Silva. Elsewhere in defence, Tuchel could shuffle his pack, with Colin Dagba and Abdou Diallo likely to replace the duo of Thomas Meunier and Juan Bernat in the fullback slots.
Verratti’s absence in midfield, meanwhile, could offer Leandro Paredes a rare start. The Argentine could operate in the deeper midfield role, where he will look to distribute possession. He is likely to be partnered by Idrissa Gueye and Julian Draxler, who could also start, with Marquinhos moving back to defence.
And finally, in attack, Edinson Cavani might get the nod ahead of Mauro Icardi, who started against Real Madrid in midweek. The Uruguayan will lead the PSG attack as they look to continue their positive run of form in Ligue 1.
Neymar, on the other hand, could replace Angel Di Maria at right-wing while Kylian Mbappe is expected to retain his role on the opposite flank.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Navas; Dagba, Marquinhos, Silva, Diallo; Gueye, Paredes, Draxler; Mbappe, Cavani, Neymar.
Unlike Tuchel, Nantes boss Christian Gourcuff isn’t expected to make too many alterations to the side that won against Toulouse on the weekend. He will, however, employ a more defence-oriented style of play, with two centre-backs in Andrei Girotto and Nicolas Pallois likely to operate deep.
Rene Krhim, meanwhile, is tipped to return to central midfield in order to provide a bit more solidity in the middle of the park. His introduction could force Imran Louza to feature in a wide midfield role, preferably on the right-hand side, where he is expected to replace Abdoul Kader Bamba.
Aside from that, the squad could remain pretty much the same, with Kalifa Coulibaly leading the charge for the Canaries. The Malian forward is the club’s top scorer with four goals this term and his robust presence in the final third could cause problems for the PSG backline.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lafont; Appiah, Girotto, Pallois, Traore; Krhin, Toure; Louza, Bias, Simon, Coulibaly.
- PSG have won 14 of their last 15 games against Nantes in Ligue 1, losing the most recent encounter between the two sides back in April.
- PSG have won their last 11 games against Nantes at home in Ligue 1, conceding only 4 goals over this period. The last time they failed to win at the Parc des Princes against Nantes came back in November 2002.
- PSG have not drawn any of their last 17 league games, with their last draw in the top flight coming back in May against Nice.
- Nantes have won only once in their last six games in Ligue 1. However, that victory did come in the recent game against Toulouse on the weekend.
- PSG have lost only two of their last 68 home games in Ligue 1.
Player to Watch
A lot of excitement surrounding this game revolves around Neymar. The Brazilian has recently returned from a hamstring injury, notably featuring in the win over LOSC Lille in the last league game. He also appeared as a substitute against Real Madrid last week.
This time, however, the former Barcelona is expected to get a berth in the starting lineup. His pace and trickery on the flanks could add a new dimension to the PSG attack that has already looked quite formidable this campaign. It will also be interesting to see how combines with Mbappe in the final third.
But most importantly, with the January transfer window just around the corner, Neymar will be keen to make an even bigger impression as he seeks to find a way away from Paris in the near future.
Paris Saint-Germain 4-0 Nantes
PSG are more than favourites to seal all three points this week. The Parisians have an excellent record against the Canaries and given their recent run of form, which is coupled with their home support, it won’t be surprising to see if they register a thumping win tomorrow.