Mauricio Pochettino, Kylian Mbappe, SG
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'PSG trying to build something special' - Pochettino

Publish on 19/05/2022 at 10:13

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Mauricio Pochettino concedes that one title was not enough for Paris Saint-Germain this season, but he hopes the Ligue 1 Uber Eats champions go out with a bang against FC Metz on Saturday.

Paris Saint-Germain - FC Metz

 

- kick-off: 19:00 GMT

 

>> LIVE SCORING, STATS AND COMMENTARY

 

PSG reclaimed their Ligue 1 Uber Eats crown from LOSC last month with a 1-1 draw with RC Lens - Lionel Messi having scored a wondergoal before les Sang et Or replied though Corentin Jean - but their UEFA Champions League and Coupe de France campaigns came to an end at the last 16 stage.

 

Mbappé on fire

 

The club are reportedly - and understandably - keen to keep the division's top scorer and assister Kylian Mbappé at the club, the French FIFA World Cup winner having plundered 25 and 17 in each column, and Pochettino hopes there is more to come next season.

 

"The objective is always in a club like Paris Saint-Germain to win the Champions League," said the Argentine. "The most important thing is to try to build something special. The important thing is to learn from the experience. This football club is building to win.

 

Watch: Highlights of PSG's 4-0 win in Montpellier last time out



"I think the players have the mentality to start again and to rebuild again, to compete again. I think the club is in a very good way, it's only a [matter of] time that the club will achieve what they have planned."

 

With an eye on the future, 19-year-old Xavi Simons could be handed just his second start of the season, but PSG are likely to name close to a full-strength XI against a team they edged 2-1 in September.

 

Lightening injury load

 

Simons' fellow midfielders Leandro Paredes and Julian Draxler remain sidelines with groin and knee injuries respectively, but they are PSG's only to injury concerns with Mauro Icardi pushing Mbappé for minutes in attack having returned to training this week.

 

While PSG are playing for pride, Metz are still fighting for their top-flight status. Les Grenats occupy the relegation play-off spot after last week's 1-0 win over Angers SCO, but AS Saint-Étienne could still leapfrog them if they beat FC Nantes while Metz lose to Paris.

 

Metz haven't beaten PSG since May 2006, when Szabolcs Huszti scored in a 1-0 win at the Stade Saint-Symphorien, but Pochettino's opposite number Frédéric Antonetti isn't about to let his side lie down.

 

Watch: Highlights of Metz's 1-0 win over Angers



"They're one of the best teams in the word in my eyes, even the best," he said of PSG. "An example: the double confrontation between Paris and Real Madrid in the Champions League. For two and a half hours, there was no match! Afterwards, we comment on the result and the elimination. But as a coach, I watch the content: for two and a half hours, PSG enchanted me. It was very beautiful to see. Everyone forgot about it.

 

Resistance

 

"Of course, we'll try and stand up to them, though. We'll have to defend well and give them problems every chance we get. Above all, I hope that we'll be in Ligue 1. If we're here and we have a good game, I'll be happy. If they're better than us, then they're better than us."

 

Metz's case isn't helped by a lengthy absentee list. Five-goal top scorer Nicolas de Préville is suspended, while Fabien Centonze (thigh), Kévin N'Doram (knock), Matthieu Udol (cruciate ligament) and Ibrahim Amadou (fractured cheekbone) are also missing.

 

Possible teams

 

PSG: Navas; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Mendes; Simons, Pereira, Verratti; Messi, Mbappé, Neymar

 

Metz: Caillard; Lacroix, Kouyaté, Niakaté; Mikelbrencis, Traoré, Pajot, Delaine; Sarr; Mafouta, Lamkel Zé

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