Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel released his 19-man squad prior to today’s match against Olympique Lyonnais at the Parc des Princes and as expected, there are a few notable absences.
Neymar Jr. is the most notable name left off the squad that is available to the German tactician but the ommissions on defense will be just as impactful with Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, and Juan Bernat all out as well as they recover from injury.
Lyon will not be at full-strength either with Memphis Depay and Maxwel Cornet out for the clash against the Ligue 1 leaders.
Despite those absences for Lyon, they still have plenty of quality to give PSG a game. Karl Toko Ekambi, Martin Terrier, Moussa Dembele are excellent options going forward. Houssem Aouar, Lucas Tousart, and Thiago Mendes are solid in midfield, and with Anthony Lopes in goal, they always have a fighting shot at keeping a clean sheet.
To keep those players quiet, here is who I think Tuchel will name to his starting lineup:
Goalkeeper: Keylor Navas
Defenders: Layvin Kurzawa, Presnel Kimpembe, Thilo Kehrer, Thomas Meunier
Midfielders: Marco Verratti, Idrissa Gueye
Forwards: Angel Di Maria, Mauro Icardi, Kylian Mbappé, Pablo Sarabia
In my opinion, Tuchel will go with the same lineup he used against FC Nantes.
He doesn’t have a ton of options on defense with the injuries so in front of Keylor Navas, Tuchel will go with Layvin Kurzawa, Presnel Kimpembe, Thilo Kehrer, and Thomas Meunier. Kehrer’s improvement is important because he may play an important role in the match against Borussia Dortmund on February 18 as a right-back potentially.
Idrissa Gueye is one of the most-used players in 2020 and I don’t see Tuchel giving him a rest any time soon even if I think Ander Herrera and Leandro Paredes deserve some playing time. We may see them mid-week against Dijon FCO, but tonight, I think it will be the usual midfield pairing of Marco Verratti and Gueye.
In attack, it’s hard to leave Pablo Sarabia out of the lineup right now considering his form. Kylian Mbappé will start as usual and I don’t expect Tuchel to sub him out any time soon. Keep your eye on Mauro Icardi. The Argentine did score a goal against Nantes but it was a deflected goal he didn’t know much about. He’s struggled somewhat in 2020 and with the UEFA Champions League knockout stage starting soon, PSG needs him to be lethal in front of goal again.
My prediction is a 2-1 win for PSG and another nervy finish, which might not be the worst thing. The more PSG is tested in Ligue 1 the better prepared they’ll be for Dortmund and other Champions League opponents.
Let me know what you think the lineup will be and your prediction in the comments below or on Twitter @PSGTalk.
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