At home (Parc des Princes) against Saint-Etienne on Saturday, 26th February night, Paris Saint-Germain will be looking to bounce back from their shocking setback to Nantes in the Ligue 1 last week.
Even though Mauricio Pochettino’s team was defeated by the French club last week, their opponents managed to keep high-flying Strasbourg to a 2-2 tie.
When it comes to stopping the Paris Saint-Germain juggernaut this season as they strive to win back their rightful Ligue 1 championship from Lille, few have been able to do it, but Nantes had other plans when they travelled to the Stade de la Beaujoire to face the capital club.
Several PSG players, including Randal Kolo Muani, Ludovic Blas, and Quentin Merlin, were caught in the PSG defence in the first half, causing shockwaves throughout the French footballing landscape. While Neymar pulled one back shortly after the restart, PSG was unable to mount a comeback after the Brazilian’s dreadful attempt at a stop-start penalty went wrong.
Les Canaris defeated Paris Saint-Germain ending a four-game winning streak and a 15-game unbeaten streak for the French champions in Ligue 1, but it may not matter too much in the grand scheme of things because Pochettino’s team still holds a healthy 13-point lead over Marseille at the top of the table.
For PSG and coach Mauricio Pochettino, failure to win the Ligue 1 championship now would be unthinkable. Pochettino is said to be considering a departure amid speculation linking him with the Manchester United job, and a first-ever top-flight trophy on his CV would be an excellent way to leave the club.
With the exception of a couple of hiccups on the road, Paris Saint-Germain has continued to dominate domestically at home, winning 14 of their last 15 Ligue 1 games at the Parc des Princes and keeping clean sheets in each of their last five, but Saint-Etienne has experienced something of a resurgence of late.
In game-week 25, whatever new protocols Pascal Dupraz has implemented in the Saint-Etienne team are beginning to bear fruit, as Les Verts have vaulted themselves out of the relegation zone while holding Champions League-chasing Strasbourg to a 2-2 draw.
St. Etienne took the lead via Ryad Boudebouz but Strasbourg equalised through Habib Diallo and Lucas Perrin in quick succession. However, Wahbi Khazri scored his tenth goal of the season shortly after to assure a share of the spoils for both teams in the second half.
The disappointment of losing to Bergerac in the Coupe de France did damper the team’s spirits, but Les Verts have grabbed 10 points from the last 12 points on offer in Ligue 1 and are currently in 16th place in the table, although with just a one-point cushion over the four teams behind them.
Saint-Etienne’s opponents will be well aware of this excellent chance to knock Dupraz’s team back down to the bottom of the table, but this week’s visitors to Paris have won their past two away games and should have nothing to fear at the Parc des Princes while on a winning run.
Although PSG won 3-1 on Saint-turf Etienne’s earlier this season, it was their 24th consecutive win over Les Verts in all competitions since a penalty shootout defeat in the 2012-13 Coupe de la Ligue. The visitors cannot afford even a momentary lapse in concentration if they are to avoid becoming the 25th team to defeat Les Verts in all competitions on Saturday.
PSG vs STE, Ligue 1 2021/22
Date: 27th February 2022
Time: 1:30 AM IST
Venue: Parc des Princes
Paris Saint-Germain Ligue 1 form:
Paris Saint-Germain form (all competitions):
Saint-Etienne Ligue 1 form:
Saint-Etienne form (all competitions):
PSG wins: 24
Saint-Etienne win: 3
In addition to star midfielder Marco Verratti being banned, Paris Saint-Germain might be without experienced Spanish centre-back Sergio Ramos. To add to that, Argentine midfielder Leandro Paredes could be missing from this match too. Apart from these absentees, there are no reported difficulties, and manager Mauricio Pochettino is anticipated to have a completely healthy team available to him when the season begins.
Meanwhile, Saint-Etienne manager Pascal Dupraz may be unable to rely upon the talents of centre-back Joris Gnagnon and attacker Enzo Crivelli due to a lack of available players.
Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Mendes; Pereira, Gueye, Wijnaldum; Messi, Mbappe, Neymar
Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Bernardoni; Sacko, Mangala, Nade; Thioub, Youssouf, Camara, Kolodziejczak; Boudebouz; Khazri, Bouanga
Despite being comfortable at top of the league standings and having just defeated Real Madrid in the Champions League, Paris Saint-Germain has come under scrutiny for the performances so far this season. After trying to get his team to operate cohesively and consistently this season, it seems as if Mauricio Pochettino will not be retained as manager of the club for the next campaign.
However, Saint-Etienne is 16th in the league and has won three of their past five games in the competition. In the league this season, Wahbi Khazri has scored nine goals for Saint-Etienne, and his form will be critical if the club hopes to compete in Ligue 1 next season. Expect a PSG win.
Predicted Score- PSG 3-1 STE