Lille vs Paris Saint-Germain: Preview and Prediction￼
The warfare of the French top-flight league has already begun as the elite clubs are speeding up to get an early edge in the race. The Ligue 1 saga enters into its Match Day 3 where the table toppers Paris Saint-Germain will be summoned by their old foes Lille Olympique Sporting Club. The high-voltage battle between two giant French counterparts will take place at Stade Pierre Mauroy of Villeneuve-d’Ascq on Monday.
Lille broke the winning streak of PSG after emerging as the champions of the 2020-21 Ligue 1 campaign. However, the Red Mastiffs suffered a fate of a 10-place finish in their title-defense campaign which was their worst performance since the relegation battle in the 2017-18 season. Paulo Fonseca has arrived at the LOSC camp with positive energy owing to a season-long break after the termination of his Roma stint.
The man who changed the fortunes of Lille now sits in the coach’s dugout of PSG. The French gaffer Christophe Galtier switched to the Paris-based club earlier this season and has a huge responsibility to maintain their stay on the top of domestic football while also accomplishing the European dream. Galtier was defeated on home turf the last time he faced his former employer club as an opposition coach.
Lille had a tight ‘away fixture’ against FC Nantes as they returned home dropping crucial points on the second matchday. The home team was cruising towards all three match-points with the help of Moses Simon’s goal when the gameplay entered into the last 15 minutes. But then the Brazilian full-back Ismaily who came onto the field as a substitute scored the equaliser and prevented their first defeat of the season.
On the other hand, the reigning Ligue 1 champions once again graced the field and wrapped up scoring five goals against Montpellier. It was their first home fixture at Parc des Princes which went down quite easily for the French capital-based outfit. The high-scoring saga ended on a 5-2 scoreline as Neymar Jr (43′ & 51′), Kylian Mbappe (69′) and Renato Sanches (87′) registered their names on the scoresheet while the opening goal of the game came through Montpellier defender Falaye Sacko’s own goal.
Head to Head Record
The head-to-head record of recent times between these two French combatants has remained one-sided in the favour of Parisians. As they have registered 20 victories in their last 30 encounters while Les Dogues side could emerge victorious only on four occasions. PSG avenged the 2021 Trophée des Champions defeat which broke their streak of eight consecutive titles by completing a double in the 2021-22 Ligue 1 season.
Les Parisiens showcased sheer domination in the most recent chapter of this rivalry which was the returning leg of the previous season. A brace from Danilo Pereira and one-each goal from Lionel Messi, Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe secured three valuable match points for the eventual champions in the 5-1 triumph. While the only goal from the Red Mastiffs was scored by the Dutch defender Sven Botman with the assistance of Hatem Ben Arfa.
Sergio Ramos, Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe, PSG’s all three premier central defensive options are available for the Monday clash. While the legendary trio of Neymar, Mbappe and Messi will be seen lining up as a front three for the Parisians once again. The 25-year-old Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches who scored the final goal of their previous fixture will be expecting a start against his former club.
Tiago Djalo’s suspension has been overturned by the French Football Federation as the Portuguese centre-back will now be available for the Paris clash. Timothy Weah will miss the opportunity to play against his former side owing to a foot injury which also kept him on the sidelines in the first two fixtures. The young American forward Jonathan David who bagged a brace in their opening game will be leading the Lille attack alongside Mohamed Bayo in the absence of Weah.
Predicted Starting XIs
Lille (4-2-3-1): Leonardo Jardim; Akim Zedadka, Jose Fonte, Alexsandro Ribeiro, Gabriel Gudmundsson; Benjamin Andre, Angel Gomes; Jonathan David, Remy Cabella, Jonathan Bamba; Mohamed Bayo
Paris Saint-Germain (3-4-1-2): Gianluigi Donnarumma; Sergio Ramos, Marquinhos, Presnel Kimpembe; Achraf Hakimi, Marco Verratti, Renato Sanches, Nuno Mendes; Lionel Messi; Neymar Jr, Kylian Mbappe
The strength of this PSG side lies in their star-studded forward line which is unmatchable in every footballing aspect if they get the flow on track. Therefore the 38-year-old Lille skipper Jose Fote would have to step up and lead the defensive line by example.
This Paris roster outclasses every other French competitor on paper and there’s no second thought that they are hot favourites to win this contest.