Paris Saint-Germain - Lille Preview: Garcia's struggling side travel to the capital to face in-form Parisiens
Carlo Ancelotti's men welcome the 2011 champions to the Parc des Princes, knowing that a win will see them return to the top following Lyon's win on Friday
By Mohammed Ali
Jallet, Camara, Sakho, Maxwell
Lucas Moura, Matuidi, Verratti, Pastore
Beria, Basa, Chedjou, Digne
Mavuba, Balmont, Pedretti
Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti is set to welcome back Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was suspended for Wednesday's 3-1 Coupe de France win over Toulouse on Wednesday.
Kevin Gameiro started alongside Ezequiel Lavezzi that night, but Ancelotti will likely plump for the latter to start with the returning Swede. Marco Verratti should keep his place in midfield ahead of Clement Chantome.
Thiago Silva remains injured, with Alex uncertain to start on Sunday. Replacing the duo could be fourth-choice Zoumana Camara, with Sylvain Armand picking up a few niggles in Wednesday's cup win.
Lille coach Rudi Garcia is split between his usual 4-3-3 formation or switching to 4-4-2 as was the case in the 3-1 win over amateurs Plabennec on Thursday.
Nolan Roux is expected to lead the line, with Dimitri Payet and Marvin Martin providing the ammunition behind him. Otherwise, there are no major injury woes for Garcia to mull over.
Salomon Kalou, Ryan Mendes, Mohamed Sissoko and Siaka Tiene are away at the Africa Cup of Nations.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Paris Saint-Germain sit can move top of Ligue 1 on goal difference with victory here.
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic tops the Ligue 1 scoring charts on 20 league goals, two fewer than last season's joint-top scorers Olivier Giroud and Nene. However, he only has six at home this season.
- Salvatore Sirigu has not conceded a league goal for PSG since the 2-1 defeat to Nice on 1 December - a total of 686 minutes.
- Lille sit in 10th place in Ligue 1 after their shock 2-0 home defeat against Nice.
- Rudi Garcia's side have just one win in their last ten league games on the road. They have two away wins in Ligue 1 all season.
- Les Dogues have not won a league game away at the Parc des Princes since 1996.
- Both Lille's Grand Stade Lille Metropole and PSG's Parc des Princes were shortlisted as the ten venues for Euro 2016 on Friday.
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Top 3 Predictions
Paris St. Germain (PSG) 2-0 Lille OSC
- 23.36 %
Paris St. Germain (PSG) 3-1 Lille OSC
- 13.12 %
Paris St. Germain (PSG) 3-0 Lille OSC
- 11.48 %
|Ligue 1 (Lig1)||22 Dec 2013||Paris St. Germain (PSG) 2 - Lille OSC 2|
|Ligue 1 (Lig1)||27 Jan 2013||Paris St. Germain (PSG) 1 - Lille OSC 0|
|Ligue 1 (Lig1)||2 Sep 2012||Lille OSC 1 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 2|
|Ligue 1 (Lig1)||29 Apr 2012||Lille OSC 2 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 1|
|Ligue 1 (Lig1)||18 Dec 2011||Paris St. Germain (PSG) 0 - Lille OSC 0|
|Paris St. Germain (PSG)|
|8 Mar 2014||SC Bastia 0 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 3||Lig1|
|2 Mar 2014||Paris St. Germain (PSG) 2 - Olympique de Marseille 0||Lig1|
|23 Feb 2014||Toulouse FC 2 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 4||Lig1|
|18 Feb 2014||Bayer Leverkusen 0 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 4||UCL|
|14 Feb 2014||Paris St. Germain (PSG) 3 - Valenciennes FC 0||Lig1|
|23||Gregory van der Wiel||Defender|
|21||Aurélien Chedjou Fongang||Defender|
|30||Barel Morial Mouko||Goalkeeper|
The Argentina international is well on his way to resolving his on-field problems, and is beginning to shine for les Parisiens. Lavezzi has been a constant threat up front in PSG's last three games - a world away from the peripheral figure that failed to dazzle soon after his move from Napoli. The forward has struck up a relationship with Ibrahimovic, and we could see that put to good use on Sunday as Ancelotti's side maintain their title charge.
A shining light in Lille's otherwise severely disappointing season so far, the young left-back has excelled, a testament to his burgeoning potential. Digne should be a mainstay in the full-back role following the departure of Mathieu Debuchy. PSG's width problems - especially at the Parc - have been well documented, and Digne could exploit that.
Les Parisiens have arguably much more quality than Lille, who have lost Mickael Landreau and Mathieu Debuchy since their last meeting in September. Rudi Garcia's away-day troubles have long been evident, and it is likely that they won't pose too much of a threat on Sunday.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed