Paris Saint-Germain hosts Dijon FCO at the Parc des Princes on Saturday and in addition to performing well and getting the win, manager Thomas Tuchel will be keeping a close eye on his midfield and defense.
From now until the rematch against Borussia Dortmund on March 11, every match that PSG plays will be looked at through the prism of the UEFA Champions League.
For that match against, Tuchel will be without Marco Verratti and Thomas Meunier, who are both suspended, and Thiago Silva and Ander Herrera who both have muscle injuries.
Those absences present Tuchel with some real lineup issues and today against Dijon, I expect him to start players we probably haven’t seen in a while and try different combinations to see what works and to get players more game time so that they’re in rhythm by the time Dortmund arrives in the French capital.
Here is who I predict Tuchel will start against Dijon today:
Goalkeeper: Keylor Navas
Defenders: Juan Bernat, Presnel Kimpembe, Abdou Diallo, Thilo Kehrer
Midfielders: Marquinhos, Idrissa Gueye
Forwards: Pablo Sarabia, Mauro Icardi, Kylian Mbappé, Angel Di Maria
I believe Tuchel will play a 4-4-2 formation against Dortmund with goals absolutely necessary so why not get the team used to it again?
Keylor Navas will return to goal after a horror show from Sergio Rico against Girondins de Bordeaux last weekend. On defense, this could be the backline that starts against Dortmund. Diallo has just come back from injury so if he doesn’t start, Tanguy Kouassi could potentially step in.
In midfield, I think the safest bet for Dortmund is Marquinhos and Idrissa Gueye and I don’t see Tuchel changing that partnership at this point.
Upfront, PSG will be without Neymar Jr. due to suspension, so Pablo Sarabia will step into the starting lineup. I also predict Mauro Icardi will return to the starting lineup over Edinson Cavani. If he has a poor performance though, Tuchel could bring on Edinson Cavani who is in better form at the moment. Kylian Mbappé and Angel Di Maria are my two other preferred attackers.
I’m predicting an impressive 3-0 win. The result over Dijon doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things in Ligue 1, however, how they play means everything with Dortmund on the horizon.
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