Paris-Saint Germain will be aiming to maintain their sizzling run of form when they play hosts to AS Monaco at Parc des Princes on Sunday.
Paris Saint-Germain are one of the most in-form teams in Europe at the moment. Heading into this weekend’s clash against AS Monaco, the French champions are on an eight-game winning streak in all competitions, during which they have scored a whopping 34 goals.
Hence, Monaco will have a daunting task ahead as they aim to continue their recovery. The French giants are currently seventh in the league table, accumulating 28 points from 18 matches. This will be new coach Robert Moreno’s first league game in charge of Monaco after he replaced Leonardo Jardim a couple of weeks ago.
The Spaniard was in charge of the team when Monaco secured a 2-1 win over Reims in the first round of Coupe de France. But, this could be a completely different challenge, against a PSG side, who are cruising at the top of the league table with a four-point lead despite playing two fewer matches.
At the same time, however, it will be interesting to see what Moreno has to offer. Especially after a fallout with Luis Enrique, the 42-year-old has a point to prove. And a win against PSG could be an ideal way to kickstart his era at Monaco.
Here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two sides ahead of this extremely crucial match-up this weekend.
Tactics & Team News
PSG are coming on the back of a 6-1 win over St. Etienne in the Coupe de la Ligue quarter-final in midweek. Thomas Tuchel, therefore, is expected to ring in the changes ahead of the clash against AS Monaco this weekend.
Sergio Rico started in goal in the cup game and is destined to make way for Keylor Navas. Same can be said for the two fullbacks in Thomas Meunier and Juan Bernat, both of who could be replaced by the duo of Colin Dagba and Layvin Kurzawa.
Further changes are expected in central defence, with Thilo Kehrer likely to make way for Thiago Silva in defence. Marquinhos, however, could retain his place at the heart of the four-man backline, ahead of Presnel Kimpembe.
Moving on, Leandro Paredes could receive a start in central midfield, at the expense of Idrissa Gueye while Marco Verratti is likely to retain his place in the double-pivot. Julian Draxler could also continue in the number ten slot as Tuchel may field a 4-2-3-1.
And finally, the PSG attack is expected to be lead by Edinson Cavani despite Mauro Icardi scoring a hat-trick in midweek. The Uruguayan international will be partnered by the wide attacking duo of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, although the Brazilian did start in the win over St. Etienne.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Navas; Dagba, Marquinhos, Silva, Bernat; Verratti, Paredes; Mbappe, Draxler, Neymar; Cavani
Moreno could look to employ his preferred three at the back setup in order to counter’s PSG’s possession-based game under Tuchel. This could pave the way for Jemerson to return to the starting lineup, starting alongside Kamil Glik and Guillermo Maripan at the heart of the three-man backline.
Gelson Martins could be employed in a more defensive role, in the right wingback slot, with Gil Dias starting on the opposite flank. It would be interesting to see how these two players cope with the dynamic nature of Neymar and Mbappe on the flanks.
Cesc Fabregas, with all his experience, could come in handy in central midfield. He will look to provide the creative essence alongside Aleksandr Golovin in the advanced midfield role. Tiemoue Bakayoko, meanwhile, is a guaranteed starter in the number six slot.
The Frenchman will be expected to provide the defensive cover for the three-man backline. His presence will also be crucial in helping Monaco retain possession in the middle of the park.
And finally, the Monaco attack could be led by the duo of Islam Slimani and Wissam Ben Yedder, though Balde Diao Keita is also an option, having scored a brace in the last game.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Lecomte; Jemerson, Glik, Maripan; Martins, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Golovin, Dias; Slimani, Yedder
- PSG have won only 23% of their games against Monaco in Ligue 1, their lowest win percentage against a top-flight opponent played more than two times. However, they have won their last four games against Monaco in Ligue 1, the longest current losing streak for Monaco against a current top-flight opponent.
- PSG have won their last two home games against Monaco in Ligue 1 but have never before won three in a row at home against the club in the top-flight.
- PSG have won 14 of their last 16 games in Ligue 1, including their last six, the longest current streak in the top-flight.
- Monaco are unbeaten in their last four games in Ligue 1, their longest streak since February-March 2019.
- PSG have lost only two of their last 70 home games in Ligue 1, tasting defeat in May 2018 against Rennes and September 2019 versus Reims.
Player to Watch
Cavani was heavily linked with a move away from Paris this January. The Uruguayan was initially linked with a Bosman move to Atletico Madrid, but it seems that Manchester United and Chelsea have joined the race. Both the clubs are now reportedly looking to sign Cavani in January.
And with that in mind, it will be interesting to see how the ex-Napoli star fares if he does get the nod ahead of Icardi in the PSG attack this weekend. His physical prowess, coupled with his clever movements in the final third, could cause real problems for the Monaco backline, who will be needing some time to get used to the system of Moreno.
PSG 2-0 AS Monaco
PSG don’t boast a great record against Monaco. But, this time around they are definitely the favourites, having enjoyed incredible scoring form within the past few weeks. The visitors, in contrast, may find it difficult to get used to the new boss and therefore, we expect the defending champions to secure a comfortable victory this weekend.