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Leandro Paredes set for PSG debut against Lyon

Publish on 30/01/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS

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Argentina midfielder Leandro Paredes is set to be handed his Paris Saint-Germain debut by Thomas Tuchel when the French champions and league leaders head to third-place Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday.

 Olympique Lyonnais - Paris Saint-Germain Logo Paris Saint-Germain

PSG have been in dominant in Ligue 1 Conforama this term, winning all but two of their games to open up a 13-point lead on nearest challengers LOSC at the top of the table, with Lyon three points further back.

The rigours of a four-pronged assault on silverware have nonetheless been beginning to take their toll on Tuchel's squad.

No Neymar against Man Utd

Neymar twisted his ankle in the 2-0 Coupe de France win over RC Strasbourg Alsace on Wednesday, and will miss both legs of PSG's UEFA Champions League last 16 clash with Manchester United.

Marco Verratti has an ankle injury of his own, while contract rebel Adrien Rabiot has been frozen out, so the arrival of Paredes - equally comfortable playing in attacking or defensive midfield - is particularly welcome.

"Leandro has within him the traditional forces of the Argentinian game, a fighting spirit and very good technical qualities," said PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaïfi. "He'll bring a lot to our midfield and I'm sure he'll settle in quickly."

Makeshift midfield

Lassana Diarra (knee) joins Neymar, Verratti and Rabiot on the sidelines, so Paredes is likely to be partnered by an out-of-position Marquinhos in the middle of Tuchel's recently-favoured 4-4-2 formation.

Lyon should make for difficult opponents on Sunday. Bruno Génésio's side are on a six-game undefeated run, with the Jason Denayer-inspired win at Amiens SC on Sunday proving that Les Gones also know how to win ugly.

'Important goals'

"It was important to win and keep moving forward, because Lille, Montpellier and Nice all won," explained Tuchel's opposite number. "We had more confidence. Denayer has scored two goals and we've won both games 1-0, so he's scored very, very important goals."

With Houssem Aouar, Moussa Dembélé, Bertrand Traoré, Nabil Fekir and Memphis Depay sharing the goal burden with aplomb, recent reports linking Lyon with Chelsea's Olivier Giroud can be taken with a pinch of salt.

Génésio only has one injury-enforced absence, meanwhile: Brazilian right-back Rafael is not expected back until March at the earliest after undergoing groin surgery.

 

Possible teams

Lyon: Lopes; Dubois, Denayer, Marcelo, Mendy; Ndombélé, Tousart; Traoré, Fekir, Aouar; Memphis

PSG: Areola; Alves, Silva, Kimpembe, Bernat; Draxler, Marquinhos, Paredes, Di Maria; Mbappé, Cavani