Teji Savanier, Neymar, Montpellier, PSG
News

No Neymar for PSG in Montpellier

Publish on 12/05/2022 at 11:27

Share

Champions Paris Saint-Germain will conclude their season at Montpellier Hérault SC without Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr., who is suspended.

Montpellier Hérault SC - Paris Saint-Germain

 

- kick-off: 19:00 GMT

 

>> LIVE SCORING, STATS AND COMMENTARY

 

PSG regained their Ligue 1 Uber Eats title three weeks ago following a 1-1 draw at home to RC Lens - a game which rather summed up their season. Lionel Messi scored a wondergoal to open the scoring, but the capital club were pegged back by Corentin Jean.

 

Mauricio Pochettino's side have also drawn their two games since - 3-3 at RC Strasbourg Alsace and then 2-2 at home to ESTAC Troyes on Sunday - although with second-placed Olympique de Marseille more than 10 points away, it hasn't mattered much.

 

Bad luck?

 

With Messi often misfiring and Neymar injured, Pochettino might feel justified in pointing out that the winds of fortune haven't always blown in PSG's direction this term. Messi has scored four league goals this term, while Neymar is set to miss his 17th game.

 

Watch: Highlights of PSG's 2-2 draw with Troyes



"I think it was due to bad luck," Pochettino said of Messi's goal record. "It's unbelievable because we could've won the Troyes game on that last play, where he hits the bar. He's a top quality player, and I think he's just suffering from bad luck this season. Unfortunately, with all those posts, he didn't have the opportunity to score more goals."

 

Messi has at least laid on 13 assists, taking his overall goal involvement to one every 116 minutes he has played. He will likely have Kylian Mbappé and Angel Di Maria for company in the final third, with the likes of Éric Ebimbe, Xavi Simons and Edouard Michut having to be patient for more playing time.

 

Giving youth a chance?

 

"I did promise the young players more minutes," Pochettino said. "But I think on the subject of youth, we have such a deep squad, and it wasn't easy to put them in at the beginning of the season and in January. This made it difficult to play even though they deserved it. However, they have had plenty of time to develop with the first team."

 

PSG can be expected to be mostly full-strength, then. Presnel Kimpembe joins Neymar on the sidelines with a suspension of his own, though. His place in the back three could go to Thilo Kehrer. Mauro Icardi (thigh), Leandro Paredes (groin) and Julian Draxler (knee) remain injury absentees.

 

Montpellier are, like PSG, simply playing for pride at this stage of the season. They were beaten 2-1 at Clermont Foot 63 last Sunday but are lodged safely in 13th on 43 points, with neither relegation nor European qualification of any concern.

 

Watch: Highlights of Montpellier's 2-1 loss at Clermont



Montpellier haven't beaten Paris since December 2016 when Paul Lasne, Ellyes Skhiri and Ryad Boudebouz scored in a shock 3-0 win at the Stade de la Mosson. They will be without Téji Savanier as they try to get that 11-game monkey off their back, the captain struggling with an ankle injury.

 

Reinforcements

 

"There will be renewals in several key positions," said Olivier Dall'Oglio, acknowledging the need for strength in depth ahead of the summer transfer window. "We've observed things and seen what we can improve. We're at crucial stage of the season for many clubs. We won't have a revolution but a reinforcement to build upon what we have."

 

Dall'Oglio does at least have Jordan Ferri back from a thigh injury. He should slot into midfield alongside Joris Chotard. Former PSG man Mamadou Sakho will be given until the last moment to prove his fitness, but Jonas Omlin and Rémy Cabella are both out with thigh complaints.

 

Possible teams

 

Montpellier: Bertaud; Cozza, Sakho, Estève; Souquet, Ferri, Chotard, Oyongo; Mollet; Germain, Wahi

 

PSG: Donnarumma; Marquinhos, Ramos, Kehrer; Hakimi, Pereira, Verratti, Mendes; Di Maria, Messi, Mbappé