Paris Saint-Germain vs. Nice – prediction, team news, lineups

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Before the international break, Christophe Galtier’s side secured a 1-0 win over Lyon, while Les Aiglons fell to defeat by the same scoreline against Angers.

Match preview

Lionel Messi in action for Argentina on September 27, 2022© Reuters

Unsurprisingly greeted by a hostile atmosphere at Lyon’s Groupama Stadium, PSG took all of five minutes to silence the home crowd, as two of their famed front three in Neymar and Lionel Messi combined for the latter to fire home the opener early doors.

The Argentine did not even need to take a touch before curling home into the bottom corner, but Galtier was thanking his lucky stars after seeing Alexandre Lacazette spurn a magnificent chance to level for his side, heading wide from only a few yards out.

The rampant champions stood firm to hold on for their sixth win on the bounce in all competitions – and fourth in a row in Ligue 1 – which allowed them to open up a two-point gap over Marseille at the top of the standings after Les Olympiens could only draw 1-1 with Rennes.

PSG could be dethroned by the time Saturday rolls around if Marseille can return to winning ways against Angers on Friday night, but the Parisiens faithful will expect to see their side quickly return to the summit at the Parc des Princes fortress.

Since going down 1-0 to Lille in Les Dogues’ title-winning 2020-21 season – with Galtier in charge of the opposition back then – PSG have strung together a 25-game unbeaten streak at home in Ligue 1, and the hosting manager’s former club Nice are a team in disarray.

Nice head coach Lucien Favre pictured on September 15, 2022© Reuters

Ex-PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino could have supposedly been coming up against the team that sacked him this weekend, as Nice were tipped to move for the Argentine over the international break after Lucien Favre‘s dream return slowly transitioned into a nightmare.

Favre – who replaced Galtier in the summer – was eventually given a vote of confidence by the Aiglons board and will remain in charge for the time being, but he was powerless to prevent his side from falling to a 1-0 defeat to Angers last weekend.

After Jean-Clair Todibo saw red with only nine seconds on the clock, the 10 men of Nice succumbed to a Nabil Bentaleb winner on the stroke of half time, while they also failed to win either of their opening Europa Conference League clashes with Koln and Partizan before the international period.

Favre’s side travel to the home of the champions languishing in 13th place in the table and will certainly aim to make a statement after Galtier’s acrimonious summer departure, which should not be ruled out given that both of their league wins this term have come on the road.

Furthermore, PSG are winless in their last three encounters with Nice in all competitions – their Coupe de France defence was ended by Les Aiglons on penalties last term – while they failed to score in either meeting with that Galtier-led team in the 2021-22 top flight.

Team News

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)'s Marco Verratti during the warm up before the match in February 2022© Reuters

PSG duo Presnel Kimpembe and Marco Verratti are both due to be serving suspensions this weekend for an accumulation of bookings, but the pair are already sidelined with hamstring and calf issues respectively.

Verratti was forced to withdraw from the Italy squad with his problem, which he sustained in the win over Lyon, but Renato Sanches has shaken off an adductor problem to make the squad.

With Verratti absent, Galtier could either recall Vitinha to the engine room to partner Fabian Ruiz, or alternatively the Spaniard could drop out as Danilo Pereira pushes up the pitch.

Pereira has been filling in for Kimpembe in the back three since the Frenchman’s injury, but Galtier can always introduce Nordi Mukiele, who replaced the injured Verratti in the win over Lyon. Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe trained individually earlier this week, and Hugo Ekitike could supposedly come in for a start if his compatriot is rested.

Nice also have a player on the naughty step in the form of Todibo, who set an unwanted Ligue 1 record with his quickfire red card against Angers and is now serving a one-game ban.

Italian prospect Mattia Viti ought to be drafted into the backline alongside the 38-year-old Dante, and the visitors’ only injury concern is Aaron Ramsey, whose hamstring tear should let up relatively soon.

Kasper Schmeichel was dropped to the bench by Favre for the loss to Angers amid alleged frustrations over his fitness and attitude, and Marcin Bulka will be determined to hold his place against his former club.

Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Mukiele, Marquinhos, Ramos; Hakimi, Pereira, Vitinha, Mendes; Messi, Ekitike, Neymar

Nice possible starting lineup:
Bulka; Lotomba, Viti, Dante, Bard; Boudaoui, Thuram, Lemina, Diop; Delort, Laborde

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