Predicting PSG’s Lineup Against Angers

Paris Saint-Germain host Angers SCO at the Parc des Princes on Saturday for what should be an entertaining match. The visitors come to the French capital boasting the most prolific attack in Ligue 1 and they will be up against the best defense in the league in PSG. It will be a battle of the two top teams in the French league and its one that PSG could very easily lose if they’re not careful.

Thomas Tuchel eluded to several key absentees in his pre-game press conference and they were ultimately confirmed when he named his 19-man squad for the Angers game. Kylian Mbappé, Edinson Cavani, Julian Draxler, Thilo Kehrer, and Colin Dagba all didn’t make the squad due to varying levels of recovery from injury. Obviously, PSG will miss Mbappé the most. The Frenchman made a brief appearance against Galatasaray S.K. last Tuesday but did experience some discomfort while on the pitch. Per the club’s website, Tuchel said that Mbappé is not really injured, because it’s not a new injury, but the scar tissue is very close to a nerve and it has caused a reaction.” Not rushing Mbappé back is obviously the right decision here but his pace and ability to beat defenders will be missed on Saturday.

There is plenty of quality available though and Tuchel will have some difficult decisions to make especially when it comes to the right-back position. Tuchel stated in his press conference that Thomas Meunier has played a lot of minutes lately and while he’s not injured, “he’s a little bit stiff and tired.” With Dagba and Kehrer also out, that doesn’t leave Tuchel with a bunch of options for players he can slot into that role. The right-back position will surely be tested against Angers and their potent attack, so Tuchel will have to decide whether to go with the Belgian for another 90 minutes or opt for perhaps Abdou Diallo. It’s possible Tuchel could go with three at the back but that’s not a formation he’s played much this season so I wouldn’t expect to see that on Saturday.

The attacking force for PSG should look similar to what we saw against Galatasaray with one big difference. Neymar Jr. will be available and I expect to see him upfront with the two Argentinians Angel Di Maria and Mauro Icardi. Icardi scored a crucial poacher’s goal in Istanbul for his first in a PSG shirt and it will be interesting to watch him play alongside Neymar, someone who creates constantly and is more than willing to feed a powerful striker like Icardi who knows how to position himself on the pitch.

The midfield should go unchanged from the game against Galatasaray unless Tuchel feels a player needs a rest. Marquinhos, Marco Verratti, and Idrissa Gueye are playing so well together at the moment you would hate to see them not continue to work on their partnership before they all depart for the international break. Ander Herrera is the only player I could see breaking up the trio in the starting lineup.

Here is what I expect PSG’s starting XI to look like against Angers:

It can’t be understated how important this match is for PSG. It’s the last time we’ll see the team in action until October 18 when they travel to the South of France to face OGC Nice. A win will put some distance between them and the rest of the teams at the top of Ligue 1 and more importantly, continue their great run of form. In his press conference, Tuchel stressed a desire to maintain their high level of play and continue to work towards improving throughout the season. This is the perfect opportunity to do just that.

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Tags Abdou Diallo Ander Herrera Angel Di Maria Angers Colin Dagba Edinson Cavani Idrissa Gueye Juan Bernat Julian Draxler Kylian Mbappé Ligue 1 Marco Verratti Marquinhos Neymar Presnel Kimpembe Thiago Silva Thilo Kehrer Thomas Meunier Thomas Tuchel
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