After handing OGC Nice their first defeat of the season last weekend, can the visitors spring another upset at the Parc des Princes?
While PSG will end Matchday 15 top no matter the result against FC Nantes on Saturday night, the leaders will be eager to see off the Breton side not only in terms of the title race, but also for the confidence it will undoubtedly give them ahead of a crucial Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.
Luis Enrique’s side are dealing with a number of injuries, and the absence of Gianluigi Donnamrumma through suspension, but the manager will have two returning players for this encounter. Captain Marquinhos has been working steadily towards a return from injury, and while the Brazilian is unlikely to start, his potential availability is a boon for the hosts.
Also returning is young midfield sensation Warren Zaïre-Emery. Injured on international duty for France last month, he wasn’t expect to make his return until the new year, but has been named in the squad, something which will go a long way towards smoothing over what’s expected to be a lengthy absence for Fabian Ruiz, who suffered a shoulder injury last weekend against Le Havre.
The visitors, who are coming off an inspired win over Nice, will also welcome back a key player in the form of left back Quentin Merlin, but have their own injury issues as well. Attacker Ignatius Ganago’s season is over after suffering a cruciate injury, while midfield lynchpin Pedro Chirivella misses out with a hamstring issue.
Chirivella’s absence will likely see Samuel Moutoussamy come into the team, and while the Spaniard will be missed, the Paris born midfielder has been a capable and versatile presence in the middle of the park for his team, having played more than one hundred times for Les Canaris.
All told, though, it will take some doing to get a result for the visitors: PSG have won their last seven matches in the league, all save one by at least two goals. Nantes will hold out hope, though — they have also earned results against Monaco and Marseille this season, and Jocelyn Gourvennec, managing in his second match for the club, has previous against the leaders, having beaten them twice in the last five time’s he’s faced them, giving this match plenty of upset potential.
Paris Saint-Germain (4-3-3): Tenas; Hakimi, Pereira, Skriniar, Hernandez; Vitinha, Ugarte, Lee; Dembélé, Ramos (or Asensio), Mbappé
FC Nantes: (4-3-3): Lafont; Coco, Comert, Castelletto, Merlin; Sissoko, Moutoussamy, Augusto; Mollet, Mohamed, Simon