Paris Saint-Germain returns to the pitch Friday evening to face OGC Nice at the Allianz Riviera in a tough Ligue 1 match. With kickoff quickly approaching, Tuchel announced his official starting lineup to take on Patrick Vieira’s squad.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) October 18, 2019
With so many players injured and just returning from international duty per the club’s official website, Tuchel had a lot shifting around to do. I like that he kept the defensive trio of Presnel Kimpembe, Thiago Silva, and Keylor Navas. That’s a lot of quality and experience on defense with Abdou Diallo at left-back (in place of the suspended Juan Bernat) and Thomas Meunier at right-back. Diallo has shown some ability to go forward and I’ll be interested in watching his movement throughout the match.
Midfield was a problem with Idrissa Gueye injured and Marquinhos and Marco Verratti returning from their national teams recently. Ander Herrera gets the start alongside Leandro Paredes. Both are more defensive-minded but have shown flashes of being more positive in the attack. This is another opportunity for Paredes to show his quality and prove he was worth the €40 million transfer fee per The Guardian. I worry about the lack of creativity coming out of the midfield in this match and feel as though the players in front of them will need to drop back further to pick up the ball and create on their own.
Angel Di Maria and Pablo Sarabia will be on the wings and I expect them to continue their excellent form that we saw right before the international break. Then there’s forwards Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Mauro Icardi, a partnership few PSG fans would have expected this season. Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappé are both on the bench but they’re clearly not ready to go a full 90 minutes having just returned from injury. We may see them in the second half though if Tuchel finds his team needing a goal to either get a draw or the win.
Also on the bench is Marquinhos and Verratti, who I assume Tuchel will call upon if his starting XI don’t get the job done.
It’s far from PSG’s best but it’s what they’ve got at the moment. Travel, injuries, and fixture congestion contribute to what we’re seeing Tuchel put out tonight. Hopefully, next week against Club Brugge in the UEFA Champions League, more first-team players will be able to start.
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