Icardi or Cavani: Predicting PSG’s Starting XI Against Nice

Paris Saint-Germain returns to action after a long international break to face OGC Nice at the Allianz Riviera in what should be a fairly entertaining match. Nice manager Patrick Vieira promised that his team would not defend for 90 minutes according to Culture PSG and that could bode well for a PSG side that is lethal on the counter-attack.

PSG will be without a number of their players including Neymar Jr. and Idrissa Gueye, according to the club’s official website, who picked up muscle injuries while with their national teams in Singapore. Thomas Tuchel did receive a boost with the return of Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappé who return after lengthy injuries of their own. In total, 19 players will make the trip to the South of France to face Nice in a battle between the first and ninth team in Ligue 1.

The reigning French champions face an uphill battle when it comes to their fixture list. They have to travel to Club Brugge on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League and then they welcome Olympique de Marseille the following Sunday. With that in mind, Tuchel will have to choose his starting XI carefully with a somewhat limited squad. Here is who I think he will choose to start against Nice:

My lineup has a few surprises, including Abdou Diallo over Presnel Kimpembe at center-back and Leandro Paredes over Ander Herrera in the midfield. Both Kimpembe and Herrera were listed in the squad list but Tuchel may want to hold them out from playing a full 90 minutes and save their legs for the match against Brugge. The same goes for Mbappé who may make an appearance in the second half to test his injured hamstring.

I also like Cavani getting the start over Mauro Icardi for a couple of reasons. First, I think El Matador is anxious to get back on the pitch and show what kind of player he is with rumors swirling about whether he’ll get a contract extension from PSG or if another club will make a move for him either in January or after his contract runs out next summer. I also think starting Cavani will save Icardi for the Champions League match where a win is much more important. Icardi is a better version of Cavani and if I needed to start one in a big match, I would prefer the Argentine over the Uruguayan.

I’ll be looking for Angel Di Maria and Pablo Sarabia to pick up where they left off before the international break and I think both will get on the scoresheet against Nice. I’m going with a 2-0 win for PSG to extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1.

What does your starting lineup look like and what is your score prediction? Find us on Twitter @PSGTalk and let us know!

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Tags Abdou Diallo Ander Herrera Angel Di Maria Edinson Cavani Idrissa Gueye Keylor Navas Kylian Mbappé Layvin Kurzawa Leandro Paredes Ligue 1 Marco Verratti Marquinhos Mauro Icardi Neymar OGC Nice Pablo Sarabia Presnel Kimpembe Thiago Silva Thomas Meunier Thomas Tuchel
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