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Paris united for top-of-the-table Lyon clash

Publish on 18/01/2018 at 00h00 - S. WILLIS

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Paris Saint-Germain versus Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday: A battle between first and second in Ligue 1 Conforama, and a chance for PSG to prove nothing can get in their way of a seventh French title.

 Olympique Lyonnais - Paris Saint-Germain

PSG make the journey south to Lyon knowing that a win would open up a 14-point gap on their nearest challengers at the top of the table; and they might be confident of securing all three points after thrashing Dijon FCO 8-0 on Wednesday, with Neymar scoring four and assisting two.

Penaltygate?

It seems that little can stop the Parisian march on the title - high-flying OL were beaten 2-0 in Week 6 - but their dressing room harmony has come under scrutiny since the Dijon match after Neymar converted the final goal from the penalty spot late on; a spot-kick Edinson Cavani earned, and which, had the Uruguayan converted, would have made him the club's all-time top scorer, ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

"It was the complete match from all the players," Cavani posted to his social media channels in the hours after full-time, though. "We must continue like this, guys." Club captain Thiago Silva also sought to pour oil on troubled waters, saying "the record will come for Edi. He scores all the time. There are still lots of games to play this year. He'll beat all records."

Mbappé to start?

PSG will take a full-strength squad to the Groupama Stadium save for Thiago Motta. The Brazilian-born Italy international has a twisted ankle. Kylian Mbappé, Dani Alves and Layvin Kurzawa will be pushing for starts, meanwhile, having begun the Dijon game on the bench.

Lyon are decidedly unlikely to lie down against Paris, though: that 2-0 reverse in September came courtesy of a pair of own goals in the final ten minutes; 13-goal striker Mariano Diaz is back from injury, and their 2-0 victory at EA Guingamp on Wednesday means they have won four of their last five, drawing the other.

Marçal missing

"It was an assured performance," said a satisfied Bruno Génésio after goals from Nabil Fekir and Houssem Aouar had given Les Gones all three points against the Bretons. "I liked what I saw: lots of movement, rigour, respect for our tactics. I think we could've won by more.

Bertrand Traoré and Memphis Depay could be restored to the starting line-up against PSG, but Brazilian left-back Marçal has a calf strain, and is not in contention for Lyon - the last team to win seven Ligue 1 Conforama titles; and the best hope of stopping PSG march to theirs.


Probable teams:

Lyon: Lopes; Tete, Marcelo, Morel, Mendy; Tousart, Ndombele; Traoré, Fekir (c), Memphis; Mariano

PSG:
Areola; Alves (c), Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Kurzawa; Verratti, Lo Celso, Rabiot; Mbappé, Cavani, Neymar