Match Preview: PSG Welcome Struggling Nantes to the Parc

Paris Saint-Germain welcome sixteenth place FC Nantes to the Parc des Princes on Saturday for what should be an easy warmup ahead of their crucial matchup against Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League. Les Parisiens will want to win the game in style to prepare for their trip to London but also to keep pace with AS Monaco and OGC Nice, who currently sit above PSG in the table.

Crisis at Nantes

Nantes hasn’t had the best start to the season to put it lightly. Last time out, their supporters made their displeasure known as the team looked set to be on their way to a home loss to Toulouse FC (they tied the match in the 90th minute). The anger in the stands remained and a few supporters tried to make their way into the club president’s box before the police interveined.

Just two points off the relegation zone, it’s easy to understand the turmoil surrounding Nantes. The Canaris have only won three league matches this season and newly signed manager René Girard is already on the hot seat.

Will Jean-Kevin Augustin Finally Get Some Minutes?

Unai Emery made it clear that there will be some rotation of the squad in this game and one area that could look a bit different is the attack. Edinson Cavani’s return from inury to feature for Uruguay during the international break will certainly have been a huge boost for PSG but Emery may want to rest him for this game to keep him fresh for Arsenal. Angel Di Maria could also be held out as he’s not played any matches immediately after the international break since the start of the season.

Emery could start Jesé Rodriguez, Hatem Ben Arfa or Augustin in place of both Di Maria and Cavani.

Augustin is one who has been overlooked for much of the season and Cavani’s injury scare magnified how much the club is reliant on him as the only capable striker on the team. The young Frenchman had come into the season with much promise, starring in the French U-19 European Championship winning side. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been given enough opportunities since the season started.

Amongst all who Emery has tried at center-forward this season in place of Cavani, the former Titi d’Or winner (given to the best player in the PSG academy) has shown to be the most capable so far, scoring a goal in the only game where he was afforded at least 30 minutes to play. The 19-year-old striker deserves his chance and while the huge amount of pressure on the manager is understandable, the game against Nantes would be a good opportunity to grant him some deserved minutes.

Layvin Kurzawa, Alphonse Areola, and Adrien Rabiot will be the only players missing due to injury. Emery also confirmed that Javier Pastore is ready to play but likely won’t see a full 90 minutes.


I expect a routine 3-0 win against a poor Nantes side at the Parc where PSG have shown signs of their best at certain times this season.


Subscribe to the PSG Talking podcast (iTunes) (Google Play) and follow us on Twitter @PSGTalk.

Photograph by FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Tags Adrien Rabiot Alphonse Areola Angel Di Maria Edinson Cavani Hatem Ben Arfa Javier Pastore Jean-Kevin Augustin Jesé Rodriguez Layvin Kurzawa Ligue 1 Nantes Unai Emery


    1. I get that but Nantes is really poor right now and their chances of getting anything from PSG at home is next to nothing IMO.

      I must say that I’m always glad each time I see your comments. Thanks so much Hanivel.

  1. Squad rotation is very important for this match. I’d prefer Emery reverting to his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation with Augustin, Jese, Moura (to pave way for Arfa in the UCL) to start upfront, Matuidi and Krychowiak in the midfield, Maxwell, Kimpembe, Motta and Meunier at the back and Trapp behind the sticks. All these players but Krychowiak shouldn’t start in the UCL match against Arsenal due to his higher work rate and Stamina. His defensive powress will also be very very useful for the Arsenal game.

    1. That’d be an interesting starting XI, but I doubt Emery would want to shuffle his team around so much. As most of those guys haven’t started any games recently, and suffering a loss/draw just before Arsenal won’t be ideal.

      Would be interesting to know if he plans to start Krychowiak against Arsenal though. Given he hasn’t featured much this season, I’m not so sure he does. Most likely sticks with Motta, Matuidi, Verratti.

      Anyways you’re Nigerian yea? Great to have another one. I had only known 1 or 2 or others up until now lol.

      1. There’s no sense buying players when you’ll just bench them. No offence but the Verratti, Matuidi, Motta trio is already too stale. Reverting to a high pressing formation will help players like Pastore and Arfa which prefer playing in the classic number 10 role. Lol. Yeah. I’m a Nigerian PSG fan

Comments are closed

Follow Us