Paris Saint-Germain will be staring at the prospect of three consecutive defeats in all competitions when they take on Bordeaux on Sunday.
It has been a disastrous start to the month for Paris Saint-Germain. After falling to a narrow defeat at the hands of OGC Nice last weekend, Les Parisiens were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League in midweek by Real Madrid, thanks to Karim Benzema’s second-half hat-trick.
The two defeats are set to have major implications on the future of some of the players and even the head coach Mauricio Pochettino. But having already been eliminated from the cup competitions, the French giants will have the luxury to devote their attention to reclaiming the Ligue 1 title as they play hosts to Bordeaux on Sunday.
With a 13-point lead at the top of the table, PSG are the undisputed favourites to clinch the title this term. However, it will be a must-win game for the hosts, especially in the context of their current form that could easily lead to the exit of not only Pochettino, but also sporting director Leonardo Araujo.
PSG’s task could be made easier by a Bordeaux side currently languishing at the bottom of the Ligue 1 table. With just one win in their last ten competitive matches, Bordeaux are staring at the prospect of potential relegation, and things could get from bad to worse as they take on the league leaders this weekend.
Team News & Tactics
PSG will be without Marco Verratti, who will serve his one-game suspension this weekend. His absence will leave a massive void in the PSG midfield, which will be expected to be filled by the underperforming Georginio Wijnaldum.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) March 11, 2022
On the flip side, Kylian Mbappe is back in contention after serving a suspension against OGC Nice. His return could see him spearheading the PSG frontline alongside Neymar and Lionel Messi.
However, after a dressing room bust-up with Gianluigi Donnarumma, coupled with his poor relationship with the management, it would not be surprising to see Neymar being dropped to the bench. But that remains an unlikely scenario as Angel Di Maria has reportedly picked up a hamstring problem.
Pochettino may opt to make one more change in the side, with Idrissa Gueye coming in for Leandro Paredes. The former Everton star could add more stability in a game in which PSG are likely to dominate possession.
There could be a couple of changes in defence, with Nuno Mendes making way for Juan Bernat at left-back. Keylor Navas, meanwhile, is gunning for a start following Donnarumma’s poor performance against Real Madrid, as it was his mistake that sparked Los Blancos‘ sensational comeback.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Navas; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Bernat; Gueye, Danilo, Wijnaldum; Messi, Mbappe, Neymar
Bordeaux may have to deal with a few absentees of their own, including goalkeeper Benoit Costil. The likes of Amadou Traore, Jimmy Briand, Tom Lacoux and Ricardo Mangas are also unavailable.
La préparation du déplacement à Paris en images 📸 pic.twitter.com/ouekiNGtwx
— FC Girondins de Bordeaux (@girondins) March 11, 2022
Gaetan Poussin has deputized for the injured Costil so far and will continue to do so this weekend. Ahead of him, coach David Guion is unlikely to make any changes to the back three consisting of Anel Ahmedhodzic, Stian Gregersen and Marcelo.
PSG loanee Timothee Pembele should continue at right wing-back, but he may have to operate in a deeper role to assist the centre-backs. The same cannot be said for the explosive Javairo Dilrosun on the opposite flank, whose pace and dynamism out wide could go a long way in helping Bordeaux utilize the space behind the PSG backline.
New signing Josuha Guilavogui should once again take charge in midfield, forming the double-pivot alongside Jean Onana. However, Ukrainian midfielder Danylo Ignatenko is another option in the middle of the park, in case Bordeaux need more freshness in the second line of press.
Moving forward, Alberth Elis and Yacine Adli could form the attacking three alongside the central striker Hwang Ui-jo. The experienced M’Baye Niang is another option, should Guion look to change things up.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Poussin; Marcelo, Gregersen, Ahmedhodzic; Pembele, Onana, Guilavogui, Dilrosun; Elis, Hwang, Adli
- PSG are unbeaten in their last 13 games against Bordeaux in Ligue 1, with their last defeat against them coming in March 2015
- PSG are unbeaten in their last ten home games against Bordeaux in Ligue 1. Their last home defeat against Les Girondins came in August 2010, more than a decade ago.
- Paris Saint-Germain have lost two of their last three games in Ligue 1, as many as in their previous 33. After their defeat against Nice last time out, PSG could lose consecutive games in Ligue 1 for the first time since September 2020 (1-0 against Lens and 0-1 against Marseille).
- Bordeaux have picked up 22 points after 27 games in Ligue 1 this season, their second-lowest tally at this stage.
- Paris Saint-Germain are unbeaten in their last 16 home games in Ligue 1, with their last defeat coming against Lille in April 2021. They have won their last five games at home in the top-flight; only Liverpool are on a longer such run in the big-five European leagues.
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Real Madrid to meet with Kylian Mbappe in 'next 10 days' after forward 'rejects new PSG contract'https://t.co/RIYDMBBVDI
— Express Sport (@DExpress_Sport) March 11, 2022
Following elimination from the UEFA Champions League in midweek, the spotlight will be on Kylian Mbappe as he looks to make a decision on his future. Several reports across Spain already suggests that the forward is set to join Real Madrid next season, and his entourage could reach an agreement as soon as the end of next week.
However, Mbappe will remain focused on the current season and helping PSG reclaim the Ligue 1 title. His absence last weekend was felt in the defeat to OGC Nice, but this time around, the home side could have his electric pace trying to cause difficulties for the opposition defence at every turn.
With Messi and Neymar underperforming, Mbappe will be relied upon to offer productivity going forward.
Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Bordeaux
Bordeaux might be the ideal opposition for Paris Saint-Germain in these dark times, as Les Girondins have looked in poor touch and have by far the worst defensive record in the French top flight. Their vulnerable backline could be put to the test yet again by the mighty PSG attack boosted by the return of Kylian Mbappe.
It is hard to imagine anything other than a comfortable victory for PSG as they look to move one step closer towards securing the Ligue 1 title.