Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain will be keen to get back to winning ways when they travel to Toulouse on Wednesday night.

Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain were given a wake-up call at the weekend as AS Monaco held them to a 1-1 draw at Parc des Princes. They will now need to get their act together ahead of a trip to the Stadium TFC to play Ligue 2 champions, Toulouse.

Christophe Galtier’s side have been akin to a juggernaut the past few weeks, and the setback at the weekend was the first time they dropped points this season. The much vaunted front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe lacked bite, and a reaction will be expected of them against Toulouse.

This could spell bad news for the newly-promoted side, who have picked up five points from their first four games this season. PSG, for their part, sit pretty at the top and have already scored 18 goals. The Toulouse defence has been far from exemplary this season and will need to be at their best to thwart the Parisian giants.

Historically, PSG have had the edge in the match-up, winning 29 of their 45 encounters. Toulouse, however, have enjoyed better luck in recent times, and seven of their nine wins over PSG have come in their last 21 encounters.

PSG go into the game as favourites and will be expected to come away with all three points. However, having experienced their first setback of the campaign, it will be interesting to see how Galtier’s men respond. It promises to be an interesting game at Stadium TFC on Wednesday. The Hard Tackle now takes a look at how both sides could set up on the night and what tactics they might employ.

Team News & Tactics

Toulouse

Les Pitchouns returned to the top tier of French football following their relegation to Ligue 2 in 2019/20. They enjoyed an excellent start to that season as well but failed to win a single game after matchday four, leading to their tumble down the table.

Philippe Montanier will be keen to avoid a deja vu situation and will be well served to use their early results as a springboard to ensure top-flight survival. They have shown courage this season and have taken the game to their opponents. Unfortunately, seeing them out has so far proven to be a difficult task.

PSG are the worst side they can come up against in terms of being sloppy, and Montanier’s men will be handed a proper challenge. They will be without Rhys Healey, last season’s Ligue 2 golden boot winner, as he continues to recover from an ACL injury. Nathan Ngoumou is also a doubt for the game thanks to a sore groin.

Toulouse are likely to set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation on the night with Maxime Dupe in goal. He will start behind a back four of Zakaria Aboukhlal, Rasmus Nicolaisen, Anthony Rouault and Mikkel Desler.

The duo of Branco van den Boomen and Stijn Spierings will form the double pivot and will be tasked with keeping Lionel Messi quiet. The Argentine legend had an off night against AS Monaco and will be keen to make amends.

How well the Toulouse duo can hold the fort will determine how the trio of Rafael Ratao, Brecht Dejaegere and Yanis Begraoui. Thijs Dallinga is likely to lead the line on the night for Toulouse against PSG and will hope to have a similar impact as Kevin Volland at the weekend, minus the injury.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1):ย Dupe; Desler, Rouault, Nicolaisen, Rouault, Aboukhlal; van den Boomen, Ratao; Begraoui, Dejaegere, Spierings; Dallinga

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Paris Saint-Germain

The French champions had their aura of invincibility shattered at the weekend and will be keen to get back to winning ways. Christophe Galtier will be without Julian Draxler, who is still a week or so away from full fitness and Presnel Kimpembe. The PSG boss will, however, welcome back Vitinha who was suspended for the tie against AS Monaco.

PSG are unlikely to deviate from their 3-4-1-2 formation and should play their full-strength side following Sunday’s setback. Gianluigi Donnarumma should start in goal behind a back three of Nordi Mukiele, Marquinhos and Sergio Ramos. Mukiele is likely to be deployed on the right side of the back three with Ramos moved to the other flank.

Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes will man the wing-back position, while Vitinha should replace Renato Sanches in central midfield. Marco Verratti should partner the summer signing in the middle of the park and will anchor the midfield, freeing up Lionel Messi to work his magic further up the field.

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe both were not at their clinical best at the weekend and squandered several chances to win the game. The latter, in particular, was guilty of missing several gilt-edged chances. The duo will once again lead the line at Toulouse and will be out with a point to prove.

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

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Key Stats

  • Toulouse have won just one of their last 20 games against PSG. Toulouse have defeated the reigning Ligue 1 champions just twice in their last 24 encounters.
  • PSG have lost four of their previous 11 away games to newly promoted sides.
  • Toulouse are currently on a 10-game winless streak at home in Ligue 1. They are also unbeaten in their last 12 games at home across all competitions. Something has got to give on the night.
  • PSG have scored 18 goals this season in Ligue 1 and have the best attack. Toulouse meanwhile are in joint-fifth spot, having netted seven goals.
  • PSG have scored in their last 18 Ligue 1 games in a row. Toulouse, meanwhile, have found the back of the net in their previous nine matches across all competitions.

Player to Watch

Kylian Mbappe

Ian Rush wants Liverpool to sign Kylian Mbappe. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Kylian Mbappe masterclass incoming.ย ย (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Mbappe did not have his shooting boots on against AS Monaco and missed several opportunities to put his side in the driving seat. He hit the bar with the goal gaping at the stroke of half-time before spurning a breakaway in the dying minutes of the game to win it.

The Frenchman has enjoyed an up and down season so far and will be keen to get back to his best on Wednesday. He hit back hard at LOSC Lille following his abject outing against Montpellier and could be set for another resurgence at Stadium TLC. Blessed with pace and guile, the Toulouse defence could be in for a difficult night should Mbappe turn on the heat.

Prediction

Toulouse 1-4 Paris Saint-Germain

PSG look very likely to run away with the Ligue 1 title again and will take some stopping. While AS Monaco did give them a tough time at the weekend, the Parisians could have won handily had their frontline been more clinical.

The wake-up call will jolt them into action, and normal service should resume on Wednesday. Anything less than a thumping win for the visitors will be a huge surprise. The Hard Tackle predicts a 4-1 win for Christophe Galtier’s men.

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