Paris Saint-Germain resume the Ligue 1 season on Sunday night when they travel to Lyon in a heavyweight match.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team finished the first half of the campaign in a completely gloomy way before Christmas, and was held to 1-1 by a low team from Lorient. A predictable routine 4-0 victory over Vannes at the fourth level started in 2022, but this match will be PSG’s first real chance to respond.
PSG’s match may not be reflected in the league table, but Lyons really is. Peter Bosz’s team is down in 13th place in Ligue 1 after a win-free December that followed a one-win win in November, which ensures that what is usually a top match is anything but this time.
Here is a 90 minute preview of this clash.
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When is kick off? Sunday 9 January, 19:45 (GMT)Where is the match played? Groupama Stadium, LyonTV channel / livestream? BT Sport 2 (UK), beIN Sports (USA)Highlights? Ligue 1 Uber Eats YouTube channel, BT Sport YouTube channelJudge? Francois Letexier
The hosts’ forward line is set for a transformation as Bosz’s alternatives have been exhausted thanks to some invitations from the African Cup. Tino Kadewere, Karl Toko-Ekambi and Islam Slimani will all be absent as they represent their respective nations at AFCON.
Elsewhere, Jason Denayer, Sinaly Diomande and Jeff Reine-Adelaide will continue to recover from the injury while Lucas Paqueta is likely to miss out on testing positive for Covid-19 at the end of December.
Pochettino has his own set of AFCON absences to contend with, as Achraf Hakimi, Idrissa Gueye and Abdou Diallo are all away in international service.
The Parisians also have a number of Covid-19 forced absences. Angel Di Maria, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Layvin Kurzawa, Danilo Periera and Julian Draxler are all isolated – although there is some fantastic news for the PSG faithful, with the return of a now Covid-19 negative Lionel Messi.
Meanwhile, Neymar will remain absent with an ankle injury but Sergio Ramos is back in action after serving his suspension.
You can check out the 90mins expected PSG lineup here.
These two giants of French football have locked horns 89 times over the decades with PSG coming out with a favorable record. The Parisian side has won 42 of the team’s meetings compared to Lyon’s 26 victories – there have been 21 draws.
The club from the capital has won six of its previous seven meetings and only lost once. Pochettino’s men last defeated Lyon in a dramatic 2-1 triumph earlier in the 2021/22 campaign – as seen above.
Lyon defeated PSG away just over a year ago, securing a 1-0 victory at the Parc des Princes in December 2020, with their last home victory in February 2019.
Although things were pretty even in their meeting during the first season on match day six, the gap between the two clubs has grown enormously since then. PSG are now 13 points ahead at the Ligue 1 summit and 22 points ahead of Lyon, which drops to 13th place.
There is undeniable quality that can cause serious problems for all opponents within Bosz’s ranks – that’s a safety – and Lyon rarely struggle to make it to this match. But even with several global names missing through international service, injury and Covid-19, Pochettino will still be able to line up with a star-studded side (namely Messi) that could truly beat any side on the planet.
So, as is so often the case when predicting PSG’s domestic matches, there should only be one winner.
Prediction: Lyon 1-3 PSG
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