Ligue 1 Preview: Paris Saint-Germain v Olympique Lyonnais
Locked together at the summit of Le Championnat, the two heavyweights meet in the Parc des Princes and will attempt to deal an early season blow in the race for the Ligue 1 title
By Robin Bairner
Ceara, Lugano, Camara, Tiene
Menez, Pastore, Nene
Reveillere, Kone, Lovren, Cissokho
Fofana, Gonalons, Kallstrom
Briand, Gomis, Michel Bastos
PSG played with a mixed team in their midweek 2-0 Europa League defeat against Athletic Bilbao, but they’ll be back to their strongest panel on Sunday, minus injury problems, of course. Antoine Kombouare doesn’t have too many of these to contend with, though he is without centre-backs Mamadou Sakho and Milan Bisevac. Striker Guillaume Hoarau is also sidelined, so Mevlut Erding will be first choice from the bench.
There had been hope that Lyon would be able to recall both Lisandro Lopez and Yoann Gourcuff to their squad, though this was dashed on Friday. Experienced central defender Cris continues to miss out, too, although he is also back in training.
Guieda Fofana may be started in the midfield to add some muscle to the unit, though if Remi Garde opts to play a more offensive system, he shall employ Jeremy Pied as a playmaker. Clemont Grenier has typically been used in the stead of Gourcuff and Ederson, who is also absent, but the highly-rated youngster picked up a hamstring problem in the 2-0 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Eight Ligue 1 games have been played by both Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon, and the clubs both boast 17 points comprised of five wins, two draws and one loss.
- It’s been 14 years since the capital club started a season in such bright form.
- Last season PSG won this fixture 1-0 thanks to a goal from centre-back Zoumana Camara.
- Antoine Kombouare’s side have also won their last five home games in all competitions.
- Record signing Javier Pastore boasts four assists and two goals in only five league matches this season.
- The last time Lyon won a league match at the Parc des Prince was in October 2007, when they triumphed 3-2.
- Lyon have yet to concede more than one goal in a single Ligue 1 match – the only club left in Le Championnat to boast such a record.
- With six goals this season, Bafetimbi Gomis is Ligue 1’s joint top marksman along with Auxerre’s Alain Traore. His predatory instincts are underlined by the fact he’s scored 28 of his last 30 league goals from inside the box, although his midweek chip against Dinamo Zagreb came from outside the area.
- Gomis has scored in three of the four matches he’s played for Lyon against PSG.
- Overall, this is a fixture that is historically tight. In 64 league matches, the capital club have won 22 times to Lyon’s 21 victories.
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Top 3 Predictions
Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Olympique Lyonnais
- 17.79 %
Paris Saint-Germain 1-2 Olympique Lyonnais
- 13.76 %
Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Olympique Lyonnais
- 11.75 %
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Dec 1, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 4 - Olympique Lyonnais 0|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||May 12, 2013||Olympique Lyonnais 0 - Paris Saint-Germain 1|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Dec 16, 2012||Paris Saint-Germain 1 - Olympique Lyonnais 0|
|France - Coupe de France (FRAC)||Mar 21, 2012||Paris Saint-Germain 1 - Olympique Lyonnais 3|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Feb 25, 2012||Olympique Lyonnais 4 - Paris Saint-Germain 4|
|Dec 10, 2013||Benfica 2 - Paris Saint-Germain 1||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 5 - FC Sochaux 0||FRA1|
|Dec 4, 2013||Evian Thonon Gaillard 2 - Paris Saint-Germain 0||FRA1|
|Dec 1, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 4 - Olympique Lyonnais 0||FRA1|
|Nov 27, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 2 - Olympiakos Piraeus 1||UCL|
|-||Mohamed Lamine Sissoko||Midfielder|
|9||Michel Fernandes Bastos||Midfielder|
Javier Pastore is clearly the man in form for PSG. Last weekend he scored a double to help fire them to victory over erstwhile leaders Montpellier, including a breathtaking volley just before the interval. The Argentine has dictated play well for les Parisiens, though he feels there is more to come even after his positive contribution thus far. Has produced at least one decisive moment each time he’s played.
PSG may have slipped on Thursday, but they are the form team in Ligue 1 at present and have in general been getting stronger by the week. Antoine Kombouare will be keen for his side to prove the Europa League defeat was a mere blip, and in front of their home support will expect three points. Lyon, however, have been defying their doubters all season to date, but this encounter may prove a bridge too far.