Match Preview: Critical Week for PSG Starts With Trip to Metz

Whether or not Paris Saint-Germain claim their fifth consecutive Ligue 1 title could be decided over the next few days. Unai Emery’s men take on FC Metz on Tuesday at the Stade Saint-Symphorien and a win will once again draw them level on points with league leaders AS Monaco. The Principality club have a slightly larger match against Borussia Dortmund midweek and by the time they return to domestic competition on Sunday, PSG could be three points clear if they win again on Saturday against Montpellier HSC.

It all starts with the match against Metz who are only five points clear of the relegation zone and will want to spoil PSG’s season. Anything less than a win and Les Parisiens will be left to battle OGC Nice for second place. At his pre-match press conference, Emery was adamant that his team is not looking too far ahead and they’re only concentrating on their trip to Metz.

Another week has gone by and the gap on the table hasn’t changed. Tomorrow night we have the chance to draw level on points – provisionally – with Monaco, but we mustn’t focus on them, nor on Nice, who are still in the race. We have to prepare well so we can play good football and get the three points in Metz tomorrow.–Unai Emery,

The former Sevilla FC manager is saying all the right things but behind the scenes I have no doubt they are 100 percent focused on Monaco’s results, injuries, fatigue level, etc. Paris haven’t lost a Ligue 1 match since December 17, 2016 and I seriously doubt the squad is preparing that intensely for 15th place Metz. During the remaining six league matches, PSG will be scoreboard watching hoping that they get the help they desperately need to overtake Leonardo Jardim’s men and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Unable to make the trip to Metz on Tuesday will be Julian Draxler, Layvin Kurzawa, and Hatem Ben Arfa due to injury. Grzegorz Krychowiak has returned to training but Emery says the Poland international needs “a bit more time.” At this point in the season, missing only two regular starters due to injury is as close to full-fitness as a club can hope for. Hopefully though, both Kurzawa and Draxler can return in time for the Coupe de France semi-final against Monaco on April 26 and then a trip to Nice four days later.

Starting XI Prediction

(4-3-3) Trapp; Maxwell, Silva, Marquinhos, Meunier; Matuidi, Rabiot, Verratti; Pastore, Cavani, Di Maria

Angel Di Maria has been incredible as of late scoring four goals and three assists in his last three outings. With Draxler out of the lineup, I expect the Argentine to threaten Philippe Hinschberger’s defense throughout the 90 minutes. After going scoreless against Angers SCO last Friday, look for Edinson Cavani to get back on the score sheet as he looks to best Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s record of 50 goals in all competitions in one season (currently 8 behind). Thiago Silva returns to anchor a defense that hasn’t given up a goal in three straight matches.

Score Prediction

Metz 0-3 PSG

Let’s go with a Cavani hat trick. No one expected this kind of offensive output from El Matador this season and breaking Ibrahimovic’s record just one season after the big Swede departed has to be a personal target of his.

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Tags Adrien Rabiot Angel Di Maria Blaise Matuidi Edinson Cavani FC Metz Grzegorz Krychowiak Hatem Ben Arfa Javier Pastore Julian Draxler Kevin Trapp Layvin Kurzawa Ligue 1 Marco Verratti Marquinhos Maxwell Thiago Silva Thomas Meunier Unai Emery
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