These-late season Ligue 1 matches against Dijon FCO aren’t typically highly anticipated, but, considering Paris Saint-Germain’s current standing in the table, today’s fixture is a must-win for the reigning French champions.
Prior to kickoff at the Stade Gaston Gérard, PSG released their starting lineup and there are a few surprises.
Le 1⃣1⃣ de départ ! 🔴🔵#DFCOPSG pic.twitter.com/B6D4ufhl6o
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside) February 27, 2021
Up front, manager Mauricio Pochettino opted for Moise Kean, Kylian Mbappé, and Julian Draxler. This is a departure from the usual attacking options of Mauro Icardi, Neymar Jr., Angel Di Maria, and Mbappé, but, all three players are in-form and I expect them to put the Dijon defense under pressure for 90 minutes.
How many goal-scoring opportunities those players receive will largely depend on the midfield, which does lack playmaking ability. Ander Herrera, Danilo Pereira should be stout defensively but I worry about leaving Rafinha alone with the task to turn defense into offense.
Speaking of defense, the backline features Abdou Diallo at left-back, Presnel Kimpembe and Marquinhos at center-back, and Thilo Kehrer at right-back. Keylor Navas is in goal.
If the starting lineup doesn’t click, Pochettino will have Sergio Rico, Layvin Kurzawa, Mitchel Bakker, Colin Dagba, Idrissa Gueye, Pablo Sarabia, Timothée Pembélé, Xavi Simons, and Edouard Michut to call upon as substitutes.
The last match between PSG and Dijon was on October 24, at the Parc des Princes with Les Parisiens winning 4-0. A similar result will be necessary if PSG hopes to remain within striking distance of Lille OSC at the top of the table.
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Rafinha will be good offensively, not devensively