The Paris Saint-Germain juggernaut shows no signs of stopping as they prepare to face AS Monaco in the standout Ligue 1 fixture this weekend.

Christophe Galtier and his Paris Saint-Germain side return to Parc des Princes this week and will face off against arch-rivals AS Monaco in the weekend’s standout fixture in Ligue 1.

The French champions look unstoppable and have barely shed a sweat this season. They have found the back of the net 17 times so far in three games and are fresh off a 7-1 thrashing of LOSC Lille at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy last week.

PSG sit pretty at the top of the table, and it is difficult to see who can keep up with them this season. Monaco, however, will look to put a stop to Les Parisiens’ title march and make a case for themselves to be taken seriously.

Philippe Clement’s side have picked up four points from their first three games and were trashed 4-1 by RC Lens last weekend. This does not augur well ahead of a trip to the French capital. More so, morale in the Monaco camp will have taken a hit following their inability to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stages.

The tie is akin to a David vs Goliath matchup, and PSG go into the game as the overwhelming favourites. Monaco cannot be at anything but their best if they are serious about even coming away with a draw. Whether they will be the ones to put PSG’s aura of invincibility to the test remains to be seen.

Monaco have, in recent times, proven to be a bogey side for PSG, winning three of their last four meetings in Ligue 1. The task could prove to be much harder this time around. The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on the night and what tactics they might employ.

Team News & Tactics

Paris Saint-Germain

Christophe Galtier will be without the injured trio of Keylor Navas, Colin Dagba, and Julian Draxler this weekend. Summer signing Vitinha has been sensational for PSG in his first few games but is suspended for Sunday and will sit out the game.

PSG have an otherwise fit squad to choose from and will be keen to tighten their lead at the top of the table. Summer signing Renato Sanches could be handed his first start in Ligue 1 alongside Marco Verratti and will be keen to make an impact.

The Portuguese international scored on his debut at Parc des Princes and will be keen to keep the run going. This will add further bite to an attack that has proven itself to be irresistible this season. Galtier has little reason to deviate from the 3-4-1-2 formation that has worked like a charm so far.

Gianluigi Donnarumma will start behind a back three of Presnel Kimpembe, Marquinhos and Sergio Ramos. Marco Verratti and Sanches will hold the fort in midfield, giving Nuno Mendes and Achraf Hakimi the freedom to bomb forward.

The duo will amply assist Lionel Messi, who will start as the playmaker behind Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. PSG’s front three have been akin to a cheat code so far and will be keen to make another fast start this weekend.

Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Donnarumma; Ramos, Marquinhos, Kimpembe; Hakimi, Verratti, Sanches, Mendes; Messi; Neymar, Mbappe

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AS Monaco

Philippe Clement has endured a mixed start in his first full season at AS Monaco, with the club winning just one of their first three league games so far. They are currently smarting from a 4-1 drubbing at home to RC Lens and will need to pick themselves up as soon as possible.

Les Monegasques will be without Vanderson, who is suspended after being sent off against Lens. Clement will also be bereft of the services of Myron Boadu, who is yet to recover completely from his foot injury. Yllan Okou and Willem Geubbels are also doubts for the game following muscle strains.

Monaco will be set to step out in a 4-4-2 formation, with Alexander Nubel in goal. He will be protected by a flat back four of Caio Henrique, Benoit Badiashile, Axel Disasi and Ruben Aguilar. Henrique and Aguilar should be on their toes to limit the attacking impetus of Nuno Mendes and Achraf Hakimi on the flanks

Youssouf Fofana is likely to return to the starting XI following his suspension and could partner summer signing Mohamed Camara in central midfield. The duo will have their work cut out trying to keep Marco Verratti and Renato Sanches from pulling the strings in the middle of the park.

Aleksandr Golovin and Krepin Diatta will be tasked with running into the space behind Mendes and Hakimi, who often play high up the field. This could cause problems for Sergio Ramos and Presnel Kimpembe, both of whose judgments are at times questionable. Playing on the counter represents Monaco’s best chance of securing anything from the game.

Wissam Ben Yedder will start up front alongside Breel Embolo. Former Liverpool star Takumi Minamino has struggled since moving to Monaco and is likely to have to settle for a place on the bench.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Nubel; Aguilar, Disasi, Badiashile, Henrique; Diatta, Camara, Fofana, Golovin; Ben Yedder, Embolo

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Key Stats

  • PSG have now scored five or more goals in four successive Ligue 1 games. Doing so again this weekend will see them break Reims’ record that was set back in 1952.
  • AS Monaco have won 44 times against PSG in Ligue 1. No other team in the French top flight has a better record against PSG. But a loss on the night will see Monaco lose two Ligue 1 games in a row for the first time since August 2021.
  • Both Neymar and Mbappe have scored more goals individually in Ligue 1 so far than the Monaco team put together.
  • PSG are undefeated in their last 23 games in Ligue 1, winning 20 and drawing three.
  • Monaco are unbeaten in their last six away games in Ligue 1. Their previous best was a run of seven between December 2017 and April 2018.

Player to Watch

Neymar

Neymar in training. (Photo by Balkan Photos/Flickr)

Neymar in training. (Photo by Balkan Photos/Flickr)

Brazilian superstar Neymar has come into his own this season and has been PSG’s standout player so far. It is pretty high praise given that the French giants also have Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi in their ranks.

Neymar has five goals and six assists in just three games, so AS Monaco will have to be near flawless to stop the Samba star. He can also act as a decoy, attracting attention for himself and leaving Mbappe and Messi to do their thing. At 30, Neymar is playing some of his best football ever and will be difficult to stop.

Prediction

PSG 4-0 AS Monaco

Despite their recent success against PSG, AS Monaco arrive at Parc des Princes as overwhelming underdogs. Christophe Galtier’s men have been impeccable this season and will take something special to be stopped.

PSG’s front three have built up a good rapport and have taken their performance to another level. So far, the Ligue 1 has struggled to contain the trio, and it is now Monaco’s turn to face the music. Anything less than a convincing win for PSG will certainly be a shock result.

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