Paris Saint-Germain’s quest to reclaim the Ligue 1 title will continue on Saturday as they welcome high-flying Clermont Foot to the Parc des Princes.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have won four on the bounce and have already opened up a lead at the top of the table, and they’ll be looking to keep their 100% start to the season going against newcomers Clermont Foot, who are enjoying their own unbeaten start to the campaign.
Here’s 90min‘s preview of the game.
When is it?: Saturday 11 September
What time is kick-off?:16:00 (BST)
Where is it being played?: Parc des Princes
TV Channel?: beIN SPORTS (US)
PSG might actually end up being without the entirety of their famed front three for this one. Kylian Mbappe has a calf injury, while both Neymar and Lionel Messi are set to feature for their countries on Thursday and won’t have much time to get themselves back and ready for their club.
To make matters worse for Pochettino, he is set to be without Mauro Icardi, Sergio Ramos, Marco Verratti, Colin Dagba, Juan Bernat and Layvin Kurzawa, all of whom are still injured.
Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom as young left-back Nuno Mendes is likely to make his debut, and expect academy youngster Alexandre Fressange to feature in some capacity.
Compared to PSG’s fitness problems, Clermont are laughing. Long-term absentee Yohann Magnin isn’t far off coming back from his nasty knee injury, but the minnows are otherwise in perfect shape for this one.
We might even see a debut for former Barcelona youngster Oriol Busquets, who joined on a free transfer shortly before the transfer window closed, although he may need a little longer training with his new team-mates.
PSG: Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kehrer, Mendes; Gueye, Wijnaldum, Herrera; Gharbi, Fressange, Draxler.
Clermont Foot: Desmas; Zedadka, Ogier, Hountondji, N’Simba; Gastien, Iglesias; Dossou, Berthomier, Rashani; Bayo.
These two sides have met just once in the past, and that came all the way back in March 199…and it was Clermont who came out on top.
Their Coupe de France round-of-16 tie was an all-time classic. PSG stormed to a 4-1 lead, only for Clermont to pull three back and take the tie to penalties, where they claimed the victory by four goals to three.
Ordinarily, you’d fancy PSG to absolutely thump a team like Clermont, but with so much of their firepower missing, this is by no means an ordinary tie.
Pochettino’s men are still the clear favourites, and their strength both in defence and in midfield should be far, far too much for Clermont, but their limited options in attack might make it harder for PSG than you’d imagine.
They should still win this, but it won’t be the romp it probably should be.
Prediction: PSG 2-0 Clermont Foot