Paris Saint-Germain returned to action on Friday after a lengthy international break to take on AS Saint-Étienne at the Parc des Princes. With Kylian Mbappé and Neymar Jr. unavailable, manager Thomas Tuchel went with Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria, and Julian Draxler to lead the attack and it proved to be the right combination against Les Verts. All three attackers scored a goal with Moussa Diaby adding another late in the match to secure the 4-0 victory and remain top of the Ligue 1 table.
On this episode of PSG Small Talk, host Marc Damon is joined by Jon Olangi and Eduardo Razo to discuss PSG’s return to the Parc and to preview the highly-anticipated UEFA Champions League match against Liverpool FC.
PSG have now played five Ligue 1 games and one thing is clear, Tuchel is experimenting with his lineup and figuring out who can play his brand of football. The FIFA World Cup contributed to some of the rotations the German tactician was forced to make, but overall, Tuchel is very much a mad scientist in his laboratory figuring out how to piece the PSG machine together.
That leads us to the game against Liverpool on Tuesday. The stage will be set at Anfield and Paris could be in trouble if they get off to a slow start like they have in nearly every Ligue 1 game this season. The Reds will jump on them from the opening whistle like a spider monkey jacked up on Mountain Dew and before you know it, Les Parisiens will be back on the plane wondering what hit them. The defense is especially suspect. Juan Bernat will likely get the start at left-back since there isn’t a realistic starter at that position at the moment and it will be up to Thiago Silva to anchor the back line and keep Mohamed Salah in his back pocket—easier said than done.
The good news is Liverpool do not play an attack like PSG’s very often. Sorry, Premier League bros, Harry Kane, Sergio Agüero, and Romelu Lukaku are not the same as Neymar, Mbappé, and Cavani. If PSG’s attack plays up to their standards and avoids silly mistakes, they should beat Liverpool. One thing to keep an eye on is if PSG do lead at Anfield, Tuchel may bring on Draxler who is used to the big stage and his passing ability could unlock Liverpool’s defense if they start to bring men forward seeking a goal.
The opening salvo of the Ligue 1 season has been a bit slow but with the team starting to hit their stride and the Champions League about to begin in earnest, this is when we will begin to learn if Tuchel is the man for the job or if there’s much more work that needs to be done. Allez PSG!
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