PSG will be aiming to maintain their 100% record in the 2021/22 Ligue 1 when they lock horns with rivals, Olympique Lyon, on Sunday night.

After suffering disappointment in midweek, PSG will be aiming to get back to winning ways and maintain their brilliant start in the 2021/222 Ligue 1 when they take on Olympique Lyon at Parc des Princes in Matchday six this weekend.

Paris Saint-Germain have started the Ligue 1 campaign on a fine note, winning five in five games, as they go about reclaiming the title from LOSC Lille. Mauricio Pochettino’s men romped home to a 4-0 win over Clermont Foot last time out in the league but were held to a 1-1 draw by Club Brugge in the Champions League earlier this week, despite starting with the super-trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

This led to a lot of criticism at the team as well as the manager, something that they will be out to address on Sunday night. However, the task will not be made easy when they come face to face with rivals Olympique Lyon at Parc des Princes. After a dodgy start when they failed to win three in three, Les Gones have found their groove of late,

Indeed, Lyon have won each of their last three in all competitions beating Strasbourg 3-1 in their latest league assignment which was followed by a 2-0 victory over Scottish champions Rangers in the UEFA Europa League. And, new manager Peter Bosz will be hoping to carry that momentum forward and pull off a win against the league leaders.

Team News & Tactics

PSG

The big news coming out of the PSG camp ahead of this monumental clash is that Kylian Mbappe is a doubt due to the injury he picked up in the midweek. Apart from the forward, Marco Verratti, new signing Sergio Ramos and Juan Bernat all remain unavailable for the game against Lyon.

Mauricio Pochettino will line his team up in a 4-2-3-1 formation on Sunday night, with new signing Gianluigi Donnarumma lining up between the sticks. Captain Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe will form the centre-back partnership for PSG, with Achraf Hakimi and Abdou Diallo slotting in as the full-backs. The former will provide a constant attacking outlet while the latter will be more reserved.

Idrissa Gueye should return to the side after missing out in midweek due to suspension. The former Everton midfielder is likely to partner Ander Herrera, who scored for Les Parisiens in midweek, although Danilo Pereira and Leandro Paredes are also viable options at the manager’s disposal.

Andel Di Maria is another player that should come into the side, after not being involved in the Champions League clash. The Argentine ought to slot in out wide on the right while Neymar gets the nod on the left flank. Lionel Messi ought to slot in as the No. 10 in what will be his full home debut for PSG. Mauro Icardi will be the man leading the line in case Mbappe is not passed fit in time for the game.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Diallo; Herrera, Gueye; Di Maria, Messi, Neymar; Icardi

Olympique Lyon

Like PSG, Lyon, too, have been hit with some injury concerns as Thiago Mendes, Tino Kadewere, Leo Dubois, Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Moussa Dembele are all ruled out of the contest. There is some positive news, though, as Damien Da Silva has returned from suspension and is part of the squad.

Peter Bosz will set his team up in a similar formation to their opponents, with Les Gones lining up in a 4-2-3-1 shape in front of goalkeeper Anthony Lopes. The returning Da Silva ought to replace new signing Jerome Boateng at the heart of the defence, partnering up with Jason Denayer while Malo Gusto and Emerson Palmieri should line up as the two full-backs on the right and left sides, respectively.

With Mendes ruled out, Bruno Guimaraes is expected to slot in as the No. 6 for Lyon, with Maxence Caqueret partnering him in the double pivot and provide a box-to-box presence. Houssem Aouar should get the nod in the No. 10 role from where he will look to provide creativity and goal threat.

New signing Xherdan Shaqiri should start on the right flank and look to exploit Diallo with his pace. Karl Toko Ekambi, who was on the scoresheet in midweek, should slot in on the left-wing while Islam Slimani gets the nod as the main striker.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lopes; Gusto, Da Silva, Denayer, Emerson; Guimaraes, Caqueret; Shaqiri, Aouar, Ekambi; Slimani

Key Stats

  • PSG have started the new season with five wins in a row for the third time after 2017/18 and 2018/19. They went on to win the Ligue 1 title on both of the previous occasions.
  • Lyon have won just 26 of their 84 Ligue 1 matches against PSG (31%). They have a lower win percentage only against Reims (27%) among the current Ligue 1 clubs who they have faced more than once.
  • PSG have won each of their last five Ligue 1 games at home, after having lost their previous three. They have scored four goals in each of their last three such contests.
  • Since the start of the 2011/12 campaign, Lyon have beaten PSG five times, more than any other team (D3 L12).
  • Kylian Mbappe has scored eight goals against Lyon in Ligue 1. Against no current top-flight team has he found the back of the net more often.

Player to Watch

Lionel Messi

It will be a momentous occasion for PSG fans as they get set for Lionel Messi’s full home debut after his much-celebrated move from Barcelona in the summer. The 34-year-old Argentine made his first start of the season for the Parisian outfit in midweek against Club Brugge but did not have the most memorable of outings, although he did hit the woodwork with one of his efforts.

Considering that he hasn’t played all too regularly, Messi needs a run of games to get into his groove. Throughout his career, the former Barcelona skipper has made it a habit of stepping up in difficult fixtures when the team needs him the most. And that could turn out to be the case on Sunday when PSG face their biggest challenge of the season up until this point.

Prediction

PSG 3-1 Olympique Lyon

Lyon have seen their form improve over the past few weeks, but they will be up against a PSG team that will be out to prove a point to their critics after the midweek mishap. Furthermore, Parc des Princes will be buzzing as fans gear up for Messi’s full home debut, which should further spur on the players to step up to the plate. With the form that they have displayed in Ligue 1, The Hard Tackle is backing Mauricio Pochettino’s men to pick up a victory.

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