Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Can PSG cut the mustard as Classique looms?

Publish on 12/03/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS


Fresh form their horror UEFA Champions League elimination, PSGwill be out to prepare for Sunday's Classique against OM by getting back to winning ways in their rescheduled Ligue 1 Conforama Week 18 clash in Dijon on Tuesday.

Dijon FCO - Paris Saint-Germain Logo Paris Saint-Germain

Paris Saint-Germain may have a 17-point lead atop the Ligue 1 Conforama standings as they head into the week the second Classique of the season, but the capital club's confidence is likely not be at record levels following their shock UEFA Champions League away-goals elimination at the hands of Manchester United last Tuesday.

Tuchel: 'The best remedy'

"We were facing a key moment in our season, a chance to grow and leave our doubts behind us. We weren't capable of doing that - but we mustn't analyse this defeat rashly. It was an accident! Man U didn't touch the ball in our area for the whole second half! It's impossible!" said PSG boss Thomas Tuchel, whose attention is now turned to the trip to Dijon for their scheduled Week 18 clash on Tuesday, when they can restore a 17-point lead atop the standings - with a match still in hand.

"We all feel bad - we're devastated. We talked it through and on Sunday, our training session was exceptional," continued Tuchel, whose side had a free weekend after their Ligue 1 Conforama Week 28 with Nantes was postponed. "Tuesday's match is the best remedy for all of it. We're not on holidays; it's fundamental in sport to be able to get over your tough times and move forward. We have a chance to show that we can bounce back as the champions we are. The challenge for me and my staff is to help the players to do just that."

Still without the injured Edinson Cavani and Neymar, Tuchel will also have to do without Julian Draxler, who sustained a hamstring injury in the Manchester defeat, Leandro Paredes (cup tied) and Dani Alves (suspended). The German tactician is tipped to go with a 4-4-2 featuring Kylian Mbappé and Angel Di Maria up front and youngsters Christopher Nkunku and Moussa Diaby out wide.

Kombouaré: 'Extraordinary confidence and energy'

Meanwhile Dijon coach Antoine Kombouaré, aware that PSG will be looking to make amends - and a statement - on Tuesday, is hoping for the best but looking to mitigate the worst as his side look to springboard into their relegation six-pointer with Guingamp at thew weekend. 

"My players need to give their all. Motivation isn't enough against a side like PSG, who area wounded beast right now. Above all, we will need to be solid and tough at the back. We took extraordinary confidence and energy from the 1-1 draw with Reims (5th), and we don't want to undo that good work in this bonus match against Paris, as we have a decisive match against Guingamp coming up," said the former PSG boss, whose team are currently 18th and on track for a relegation play-off against Domino's Ligue 2's third-placed side.

"We have a lot to win against Paris, but if we can't win it, we have make sure not to damage our confidence - and goal difference - with a big defeat."

Probable teams

Dijon FCO: Allain; Chafik, Yambéré, Lautoa, Aguerd; Marié, Balmont, Abeid; Saïd, J. Tavares (c), Sammaritano

Paris Saint-Germain:
Areola; Meunier, Thiago Silva (c), Kehrer, Bernat; Nkunku, Verratti, Marquinhos, M. Diaby; Mbappé, Di Maria