If before the season started I told you Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco would face each other in a Coupe de France semi-final match and one team would rest a number of their key starters with an important UEFA Champions League tie on the horizon, you would probably say that team is PSG. In a sick and twisted role reversal, it’s the principality club that is knocking on the door of the Champions League final, leading Ligue 1, and resting most of their starters for Wednesday match at the Parc des Princes.
Speaking to reporters, Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim explained the decision to rest most of his first-team players by emphasizing the importance of winning the league first and then advancing in the Champions League. With a league match on Saturday against Toulouse FC and PSG nipping at their heels ready to pounce on any mistake, Jardim is taking no chances in this comparatively minor competition.
I can’t help but feel for PSG as they prepare to play Monaco’s b-squad. They were the ones with lofty goals on the European stage and not only did they bow out early, they did so in humiliating fashion. To add salt in the wound that is this season, it appears as though Paris will come up just short of winning their fifth consecutive league title barring an unlikely collapse from Monaco. Essentially, it comes down to this: PSG need to win the Coupe de France to salvage their season while Monaco could care less about said trophy.
I fully expect Paris to win comfortably against Monaco and advance to the final. Earlier this month, Unai Emery led his team into the Coupe de la Ligue final against Les Monégasques and the capital club raised the trophy that night having defeated their rivals 4-1. On Wednesday, we could see a similar result if not worse.
Starting XI Prediction
(4-3-3) Areola; Maxwell, Silva, Marquinhos, Aurier; Rabiot, Motta, Verratti; Draxler, Cavani, Lucas
Layvin Kurzawa remains out due to a knee issue and Javier Pastore, who picked up a knock against Montpellier HSC, was also left out of the 19-man squad. Look for Christopher Nkunku to possibly start or contribute in the second half. Emery has been impressed with the young members of his squad but the Frenchman has made an impression on the Basque tactician.
Christopher can help the team. This year has been a good experience for him, an opportunity for him to show that he can grow as a player.–Unai Emery, PSG.fr
PSG 4-0 Monaco
Monaco have no incentive to win this match other than to humiliate PSG and they’ve already done that by resting the majority of their best players. Expect a clinical performance from the hosts with Edinson Cavani netting a brace to inch closer to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s scoring record of 50 goals in all competitions in one season.