Paris Saint-Germain will be desperate to take all three points against AS Monaco when these two sides once again meet at Stade Louis II on Wednesday.
Paris Saint-Germain played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with AS Monaco at the Parc des Princes on Sunday, which happened to be the first league game in charge for the newly appointed Monaco boss Robert Moreno. The visitors looked full of enthusiasm and commitment, becoming only the fourth side to hold PSG this season.
It was the first draw of the French champions so far, who have slump to just three defeats over the course of the campaign. Nevertheless, they will be keen on returning to winning track after their eight-game winning streak was put to an end by Monaco on the weekend.
The draw made very little impact in the league table, however, with the home side still having a comfortable five-point advantage over second-placed Marseille heading into this game. Monaco, on the other hand, are eighth although they have an additional game in their hands and securing another point against PSG would be enough to overtake seventh-placed Lyon.
But, being the home side, it remains to be seen whether or not Les Monegasques can keep up the same intensity or even improve on their performance in the last game. And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two sides when they lock horns once again at Stade Louis II on Wednesday.
Tactics & Team News
Moreno is unlikely to shift away from his 4-4-2 setup with two banks of four screening goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte. The defence could remain the same too, with Kamil Glik leading the backline alongside Guillermo Maripan. Same can be said for full-backs Benjamin Henrichs and Fode Ballo-Toure.
Moving further, Tiemoue Bakayoko’s physicality was quite useful at the weekend. And the Frenchman is almost a guaranteed starter in the double-pivot, alongside Cesc Fabregas, with the latter looking to add a creative essence in the final third.
Speaking of creativity, Aleksandr Golovin could once again start in a wide role, ahead of Gil Dias on the left flank. The Russian international has the tenacity as well as the skill to provide a lot of problems for the PSG backline that looked shaky in the last game.
However, Moreno will face a selection trouble on the opposite flank, with Gelson Martins being a doubt heading into this game. The Portuguese sensation was forced off and is likely to be replaced by Ruben Aguilar.
And finally, the Monaco attack could be led by the dynamic duo of Wissam Ben Yedder and Keita Balde Diao, who could get the nod ahead of Islam Slimani.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Lecomte; Henrichs, Maripan, Glik, Ballo-Toure; Aguilar, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Golovin; Ben-Yedder, Keita Balde
While Moreno is expected to stick to his guns, Thomas Tuchel has a point to prove following a disappointing performance on the weekend. Defence, in particular, looked weak. As a result, it won’t be surprising to see the ex-Dortmund coach reshuffling his defensive unit this midweek.
Especially the full-backs in Thomas Meunier and Juan Bernat could make way for Colin Dagba and Layvin Kurzawa while Marquinhos could also be benched, paving the way for Presnel Kimpembe to return to the side. The young Frenchman could be partnered by Thiago Silva at the heart of the four-man PSG backline.
In midfield, Tuchel has a lot of options to choose from. But, we expect him to opt for Leandro Paredes, coming in at the expense of Idrissa Gueye. The Argentine could partner Marco Verratti in the double-pivot.
Elsewhere, Angel Di Maria is likely to retain his place in the team as well as Neymar, who was one of the better performers in that 3-3 draw. These two will look to provide the necessary flair in the PSG attack and cause a stir in the Monaco half.
The PSG attack, meanwhile, will once again be spearheaded by Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi, both of who failed to score in the last game and will thus be desperate to find the back of the net this time around.
Probable Lineup (4-2-2-2): Navas; Dagba, Silva, Kimpembe, Kurzawa; Verratti, Paredes; Di Maria; Neymar; Icardi, Mbappe
- Monaco and PSG are the first teams to meet in consecutive Ligue 1 games within the same season since 5th January 1964, when nine games were the return fixtures from the previous matchday.
- PSG have won just 23% of their games against Monaco in Ligue 1, their lowest win percentage against a top-flight opponent in which they have faced more than twice.
- Monaco are unbeaten in their last five Ligue 1 games, their best run in the top-flight since February-March 2017.
- PSG are unbeaten in their last seven Ligue 1 games, their best run in the top-flight since February-April 2019.
- Monaco have lost three of their last four home Ligue 1 games against PSG in Ligue 1, as many as their first 39.
Player to Watch
As iterated earlier, PSG might once again appear over-dependent on the services of Neymar. The Brazilian caused a lot of problems for the Monaco defence with his clever movements and quick feet in the last game. And with the opposition likely to play with a deep defensive line, the onus will be on him to replicate his performance this midweek.
But, with the home side likely to miss out on Martins, Moreno could deploy Aguilar on the right flank and provide additional defensive cover. This will ultimately heat up the battle between Neymar and the two defenders as the ex-Barcelona superstar looks to breach the Monaco backline.
AS Monaco 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain
This could once again turn out to be a nail-biting encounter with the visitors looking to put pressure on the home side with their attacking firepower. However, after a strenuous 3-3 draw on the weekend, the Monaco players will understandably be tired. Hence, we favour PSG to snatch a narrow win tomorrow.