Paris Saint-Germain will be hoping to secure all three points as they travel to Stade Pierre-Mauroy to take on 16th place Lille OSC. A win will be key to keep pace with league leaders OGC Nice but after last Sunday’s scoreless draw against Olympique de Marseille, Unai Emery is under fire to get more out of his team.
Lille have won just three of their 10 matches in the league and don’t look like a side that can cause Paris many problems. PSG supporters should be wary though, LIlle won’t be pushovers as they possess some very interesting individual talents in their ranks, including Portugal’s UEFA Euro 2016 hero, Eder. With two of their wins coming in their last two matches at home, Les Dogues are rounding into form and would love nothing more than to get a result against the reigning French champions.
Les Parisiens will be without Serge Aurier and Presnel Kimpbembe due to injury and suspension respectively. Javier Pastore, who recently returned to the team, will also miss the match as the club want to avoid rushing him back. With an important UEFA Champions League match away at FC Basel next week, Emery could be looking to rest a few more players as well. The former Sevilla FC manager hinted at the possibility of dropping Angel Di Maria, saying he has yet to decide whether or not to start the Argentine, who has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks due to his abysmal performances but voiced how important it was for the PSG’s No. 11 to regain his confidence.
The shuffling of the squad could me either Jesé Rodriguez or Hatem Ben Arfa, who both appear to be in favor with Emery, could be set to start the match on Friday. A good performance from either could mean El Fideo‘s position finally comes under threat for the first time since his arrival last season from Manchester United.
Emery also cleared the air about unrest with Marco Verratti following his substitution before the hour mark, suggesting his gametime is only being carefully managed due to his recent injury troubles and it will not be much of a surprise if the Italian is rested against Lille.
A win has to be the minimum requirement for Emery’s men in order to stay in touching distance of Nice as well as to boost confidence going into a string of difficult Champions League games in the coming weeks.
Starting XI Prediction:
(4-3-3): Areola; Meunier, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Kurzawa; Matuidi, Motta, Rabiot; Jesé, Cavani, Lucas
Substitues: Trapp, Maxwell, Krychowiak, Verratti, Ben Arfa, Augustin, Di Maria
Lille 1-2 PSG
Photograph by FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images