Paris Saint-Germain are aiming for their fourth consecutive win in Ligue 1 as they take on Angers SCO on Wednesday.
Following a run of three back-to-back wins, Paris Saint-Germain could seal the Ligue 1 title for good as they take on Angers on Wednesday. The Parisian juggernaut are heading into this game on the back of a 15-point lead over second-placed Marseille, with only six games remaining until the end of the season.
A win on Wednesday might be enough to officially seal the title, providing Marseille drop points against Nantes on the same day. Even if OM do secure a victory, it will be mathematically almost impossible for Les Phoceens to recover a +21 goal difference that currently exists between the two sides at the moment.
As far as Angers are concerned, the hosts presently sit 14th in the league table, but there is only a five-point gap between them and 18th-placed Clermont Foot. If they end up dropping points against PSG, it will allow the opportunity for the Lorient, Troyes and St. Etienne to move up the league table, potentially dragging Angers back into the relegation scrap.
With 46 goals conceded, the hosts have one of the leakiest defences in the league. But they have produced valiant performances against Lyon and Nantes in recent weeks and coach Gerald Baticle will be hoping for more of the same when his side takes on the league leaders this midweek.
Team News & Tactics
⚫ 𝗡𝗢𝗦 𝟮𝟬 𝗦𝗢𝗟𝗗𝗔𝗧𝗦 ⚪ pic.twitter.com/FOqLcNljVj
— Angers SCO (@AngersSCO) April 19, 2022
Angers are set to miss out on a few key players due to injury including Jimmy Cabot, Mathias Pereira Lage and Stephane Bahoken. They are also sweating on the fitness of Pierrick Capelle, who is likely to be replaced by the returning Souleyman Doumbia.
The full-back had missed the last game due to suspension and is likely to occupy the left wing-back role, with Abdoulaye Bamba starting on the opposite flank. Their collective work ethic out wide could go a long way in keeping the PSG attackers quiet, though they may play an equally important role in providing the width going forward.
Angers, after all, have a packed attacking setup, led by the ever so impressive Angelo Fulgini. The Frenchman is set to be partnered by the technically astute figure of Sofiane Boufal, and the two could offer real problems for the PSG backline this midweek.
Speaking of defence, Angers coach Baticle may once again deploy a three-man backline consisting of Enzo Ebosse, Romain Thomas and Ismael Traore.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Mandrea; Ebosse, Traore, Thomas; Bamba, Mangani, Mendy, Ounahi, Doumbia; Fulgini, Boufal
Given the way his team has performed in recent weeks, Mauricio Pochettino doesn’t have many reasons to tinker with his starting eleven. But the Argentine tactician has been handed several injury-related blows heading into this contest, while Neymar will be unavailable due to suspension.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) April 19, 2022
The players in question are Lionel Messi, Marco Verratti and Presnel Kimpembe. They have all picked up knocks and will remain under observation. All of them will have to sit out for this game, paving the way for the likes of Mauro Icardi, Gini Wijnaldum and Sergio Ramos to return to the starting eleven.
Another change could come in goal, with the underperforming Gianluigi Donnarumma making way for Keylor Navas. The Costa Rican international returned to fitness on the weekend and is in contention to start in between the sticks on Wednesday.
Further changes could be made in attack. The unavailability of Neymar means Angel Di Maria could be fast-tracked into the eleven, occupying the right flank. Icardi should operate centrally while Mbappe will move out on the left flank.
Wijnaldum is likely to be the replacement for Verrati. Pochettino, though, has no shortage of exciting alternatives under his disposal, including Dina Ebimbe and the talented Xavi Simons.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Navas; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Ramos, Mendes; Gueye, Danilo, Wijnaldum; Di Maria, Icardi, Mbappe
- Angers have lost their last 11 Ligue 1 matches against PSG. In the history of the French league, only Nantes against PSG (14) and Strasbourg against Lyon (13) have had a longer losing streak against a single opponent.
- Angers have won only two of their last 12 home games against PSG in Ligue 1.
- Only Metz (8) have picked up fewer points than Angers in Ligue 1 in 2022.
- If PSG earn more points than Marseille, they will be crowned Ligue 1 champions for the 10th time after 1986, 1994, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020. They would then equal St. Etienne as the most successful club in the history of the championship, ahead of OM.
- Angers (27 years and 329 days) and PSG (28 years and 2 days) are the two teams with the oldest starting XIs on average in Ligue 1 this season.
Player to Watch
Nuno Mendes has been an impressive performer for PSG in recent weeks. The youngster has grown in confidence and has offered consistent attacking support on the flanks, utilising his pace to good effect. His darting runs on the byline coupled with equally deadly crosses have caused a lot of problems for the opposition lately.
PSG will be hoping that Mendes performs on the same level when they take on Angers this midweek. With the opposition likely to operate in a deep block, Mendes’ ability to get to the byline and deliver crosses could make him a handy creative outlet for the visitors.
The same can be said for Achraf Hakimi on the opposite flank, but Mendes has been a bit more consistent this season. And we are banking on the Portuguese international to perform once again in this crucial match-up.
Angers 0-3 Paris Saint-Germain
PSG have been in electric form this month and it is hard to imagine them changing gears anytime soon. The absence of Neymar and potentially Messi could be a major blow for the visitors, but they have enough quality to overpower the opposition, especially if we consider the timely returns of Di Maria and Navas.
In this game, the full-backs, in particular, Nuno Mendes could play a vital role in offering the creative output, whereas the midfielders could march forward into the box and perhaps even offer the productivity up front, helping PSG secure a comfortable victory.