Paris Saint-Germain will be hoping to regain their place at the top of the Ligue 1 table when they lock horns with Bordeaux on Wednesday.
Paris Saint-Germain enjoyed an excellent weekend as their 4-0 win over Dijon helped them close the gap to league leaders LOSC Lille, who were held by Strasbourg. The chasing Lyon also drew with Marseille, meaning Les Parisiens are now within touching distance of the top spot, just two points behind Lille.
PSG’s superior goal difference means a win over Bordeaux in their upcoming match could be enough to help them regain their place at the top, especially with Lille facing a tricky test against Marseille. The chasing pack in Lyon and Monaco are not having it easy either, with the former locking horns with Rennes on the same day.
That said, Bordeaux will be no walk in the park for PSG, despite a poor run of form that sees them being winless since mid-January. It has indeed derailed their progress, exactly when Jean-Louis Gasset’s men were angling for the race to finish inside the top six this season.
Bordeaux do still have a great record, though, having notably held PSG to a 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture. It should give them all the confidence they need as Les Girondins hope to cause yet another upset that could go a long way in further enticing the title race in the ongoing Ligue 1 campaign.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the two sides ahead of this important match-up at Stade de Bordeaux this midweek.
Team News & Tactics
— FC Girondins de Bordeaux (@girondins) March 1, 2021
Bordeaux head coach Jean-Louis Gasset usually prefers a 4-2-3-1, though he did field a 3-5-2 in the recent defeat to Nimes. This week, however, we may see the return of the traditional 4-4-2 as the 67-year-old may indeed realise the importance of frustrating the PSG attackers by deploying two banks of four that will protect Benoit Costil in goal.
Youssouf Kabaly should shift back to his right-back role after operating as a wing-back against Nimes. Loris Benito should be back from suspension this week, which means Gasset will have no problems finding a left-back, as these two individuals look to aid the central defensive duo of Laurent Koscielny and Paul Baysse.
Koscielny’s experience and imposing presence at the back gives Bordeaux a leading figure who could motivate his team to work rate and restrict the mighty PSG attack. It should, however, be noted that the onus will be on the central midfielders in Toma Basic and Yacine Adli to form a solid second line of press.
The midfielders are likely to act in a narrow shape, providing minimal space for the opposition in between the lines. The two wide midfielders in Remi Oudin and Samuel Kalu, in that regard, are set to play a pivotal role in that pressing scheme, as they look to use their overshadow to cover as much space as possible for the PSG ball-carriers.
Finally, in the offensive unit, Ui-jo Hwang could once spearhead the Bordeaux attack, most likely alongside Hatem Ben Arfa, even though the former PSG forward was dropped to the bench in the defeat to Nimes.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Costil; Sabaly, Baysse, Koscielny, Benito; Oudin, Basic, Adli, Kalu; Hwang, Ben Arfa
PSG face Stade Brest on the weekend before they lock horns with FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League. The schedule plays out nicely for Mauricio Pochettino, who will have the privilege of lining up a strong team against Bordeaux on Wednesday.
The Argentine tactician, though, is still missing out on the services of Neymar while Kylian Mbappe faces a suspension after picking up too many yellow cards. In addition, Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria remain out, meaning the onus will be on Moise Kean to spearhead the depleted PSG attack.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) March 1, 2021
The absence of key players should also allow fringe stars like Julian Draxler, Pablo Sarabia and even Rafinha to form the creative trifecta for the away side this midweek. Draxler, in particular, should play an important role, particularly with his ability to provide useful crosses from set-pieces.
In midfield, Leandro Paredes is likely to return after serving a suspension. He could slot in alongside Idrissa Gueye in the double pivot, hoping to provide the stability in the middle of the park. Marco Verratti, though, has been ruled out, so there may be a lack of creative essence that could get problematic as Bordeaux look to sit deep.
Finally, in the defensive unit, Pochettino should ring in the changes in the fullback unit Colin Dagba and Layvin Kurzawa coming on while Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe should continue at the heart of the four-man backline.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Navas; Dagba, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Kurzawa; Paredes, Gueye; Draxler, Rafinha, Sarabia; Kean
- Paris Saint-Germain are among the highest-scoring teams in Europe’s top five leagues this season, having netted 61 goals in just 27 matches.
- In contrast, only four teams in Ligue 1 this season, have a worse scoring record than Bordeaux, who have found the back of the net only 28 times in 27 matches.
- Only bottom club Dijon (0) have collected fewer points than Bordeaux (1) over the last five matches in Ligue 1.
- Bordeaux have conceded at least one goal in each of their last nine Ligue 1 home games against PSG, after keeping a clean sheet in 10 of the previous 11.
- PSG (4) and Bordeaux (3.6) are the two teams that on average make the most passes in the build-up to a goal in Ligue 1 this season.
Player to Watch
Happy 21st birthday, Moise Kean! 🎈
15 goals in 27 appearances for PSG this season 👏 pic.twitter.com/SY1xlYXevq
— Goal (@goal) February 28, 2021
Moise Kean has been quite the revelation at PSG after joining the club from Everton. Often regarded as a failure at Goodison Park, the forward has emerged as the second-highest scorer for the French giants this season, netting 11 goals in Ligue 1 so far. His combination play with the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe has been brilliant, to say the least.
However, with nearly all of PSG’s star attackers ruled out this midweek, the onus will be on the young Italian to provide the goods in the final third. His pace, dynamism and ability to drift into useful areas of the pitch could indeed prove to be vital as the visitors hope to capitalise on their performance against Dijon last time out.
Bordeaux 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain
With PSG once again missing key players, this promises to be an affair that is going to be decided in the finest of margins. The visitors are coming on the back of a 4-0 triumph but have looked far from impressive, lacking the usual consistency that usually associates with them.
Bordeaux, though, have indeed lacked form, often conceding too many goals in recent matches while it remains highly unlikely that they will be able to outclass the defensive foundation of the defending champions. We are giving PSG a slight advantage in this one.