Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

PSG leaning on Choupo-Moting with Metz up next

Publish on 27/08/2019 at 19:30


With Kylian Mbappé and Edinson Cavani injured and Neymar's future unclear, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will lead the line for PSG against Metz. Recent form suggests Friday's hosts should be worried regardless…

 FC Metz - Paris Saint-Germain 

Last Sunday was meant to be something of a celebration for Paris Saint-Germain, and in particular Mbappé, who was celebrating his 100th Ligue 1 Conforama appearance at the tender age of 20 years, eight months and six days against Toulouse FC.

Cavani had to come off due to a hip complaint inside the first 15 minutes, though - with Choupo-Moting taking his place - before Mbappé followed his attacking colleague for an early bath just past the hour, clutching his hamstring.

Quick impact

Choupo-Moting may only have scored three goals for PSG last term following his surprise summer transfer from Stoke City, but the Cameroon attacker picked up the baton at the Parc des Princes, scoring twice in 15 minutes to help his side to a 4-0 win.

Watch: Highlights of PSG's 4-0 win over Toulouse

"Choupo-Moting was good!" enthused coach Thomas Tuchel, who will be without Mbappé for three weeks and Cavani four. "He never lost confidence. He's given everything since the start of the season. For an attacker it's important to score goals and he deserves it."

PSG come into the game in third, behind Stade Rennais FC - who surprisingly beat them 2-1 two weeks ago - and Olympique Lyonnais, and Tuchel will be confident of closing the gap on the top against a side who have not beaten them since May 2006, even if his injury list is growing.

Busy medical bay

As well as Mbappé and Cavani, PSG were already sweating on the fitness of  Julian Draxler and Thilo Kehrer - the Germany internationals nursing foot injuries - as well as Ander Herrera, whose calf complaint has meant he has yet to feature for PSG in the league following his summer transfer from Manchester United.

Metz - in contrast - have a clean bill of health. The promoted Lorraine club beat AS Monaco 3-0 two weeks ago but came crashing back down to earth last Saturday, losing at Angers SCO by the same scoreline. Les Grenats nonetheless begin the day in 10th, just two points worse off than their visitors.

Watch: Highlights of Metz's 3-0 loss at Angers

Tuchel's opposite number Vincent Hognon could ring the changes against PSG, although he also has a friendly against German second tier side Karlsruher in the international break in which to experiment - something he might need to do with as many as 10 of the club's African contingent playing for their countries in September and October.

Many a Mane?

The club who discovered Liverpool's Senegalese winger Sadio Mane, Metz's attempts to catch lightning in a bottle twice might come back to haunt them, although Hognon isn't looking for excuses.

"We deserved to lose," he said after his side's reverse at the Stade Raymond Kopa. "I told the players it'd be tough but we made things so much easier for them. There are no surprises. We didn't get carried away last week and we're not suddenly the worst team in the league overnight."

Habib Maïga could come back into central midfield in place of Monaco-owned Kévin N'Doram, while Manchester City academy graduate Thierry Ambrose is pushing to start having come off the bench in each of the last two games.

Possible teams

Metz: Oukidja; Centonze, Sunzu, Fofana, Delaine; Cohade, Maïga, Angban; Ambrose, Diallo, Nguette

PSG: Areola; Meunier, Marquinhos, Silva, Bernat; Paredes, Gueye, Verratti; Sarabia, Choupo-Moting, Di Maria