Lille – Paris Saint-Germain Preview: Hosts looking to disrupt the visitors' Ligue 1 title chances
Third play second in northern France, with the pressure particularly on the away side after they watched Montpellier pick up three more points on Friday night
By Robin Bairner
Debuchy, Chedjou, Basa, Digne
Balmont, Mavuba, Pedretti
Cole, De Melo, Hazard
Jallet, Alex, Bisevac, Maxwell
Thiago Motta, Sissoko, Matuidi
Lille will have a fully-fit squad of players to select from, with Rudi Garcia’s plans disrupted only by suspensions to versatile defender Franck Beria and central midfielder Idrissa Gueye, which opens the door to the fit-again Florent Balmont to return to the team. Teenage left-back Lucas Digne, who has featured regularly of late, will slot into the defence.
The forward line will likely be very fluid, with only Eden Hazard certain to start of this trio. Dimitri Payet and Nolan Roux could quite feasibly take the places of Joe Cole and Tulio de Melo.
PSG are unlikely to make too many alterations after their crushing victory over Sochaux last weekend. Despite playing without a recognised striker, they scored six times at the Parc des Princes, with their advanced three gelling brilliantly. Carlo Ancelotti will look for more of the same.
The Italian will sweat on the fitness of Maxwell and Clement Chantome until the last moment, but he is boosted by the return of Mohamed Sissoko after suspension, and the former Juventus man is liable to feature from the outset.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- With 39 goals to their credit, Lille are France’s most prolific side when playing in home matches.
- Les Dogues only have the fifth-best home record in Ligue 1, though.
- On the 12 occasions they have scored the opening goal when playing at the Stade Lille-Metropole, they have gone on to win eight times, remaining undefeated this season in this regard.
- Three of their last four home matches against PSG have ended scoreless, with the other resulting in a 3-1 victory to the hosts.
- PSG have only won away to Lille three times in 34 trips.
- They have the second-best away record in Ligue 1 this season, having won 28 points on the road.
- No club in France can match the tally of 63 goals scored by PSG so far this term.
- Last weekend’s 6-1 win over Sochaux was their biggest and arguably their most impressive of the season.
- Kevin Gameiro has scored eight of his 11 Ligue 1 goals for PSG away from home, yet he is unlikely to see much action on Sunday.
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Top 3 Predictions
LOSC Lille Métropole 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain
- 17.54 %
LOSC Lille Métropole 2-1 Paris Saint-Germain
- 11.4 %
LOSC Lille Métropole 1-3 Paris Saint-Germain
- 7.9 %
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Jan 27, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 1 - LOSC Lille Métropole 0|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Sep 2, 2012||LOSC Lille Métropole 1 - Paris Saint-Germain 2|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Apr 29, 2012||LOSC Lille Métropole 2 - Paris Saint-Germain 1|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Dec 18, 2011||Paris Saint-Germain 0 - LOSC Lille Métropole 0|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||May 21, 2011||Paris Saint-Germain 2 - LOSC Lille Métropole 2|
|LOSC Lille Métropole|
|Dec 3, 2013||LOSC Lille Métropole 1 - Olympique de Marseille 0||FRA1|
|Nov 30, 2013||Valenciennes FC 0 - LOSC Lille Métropole 1||FRA1|
|Nov 24, 2013||LOSC Lille Métropole 1 - Toulouse FC 0||FRA1|
|Nov 9, 2013||EA Guingamp 0 - LOSC Lille Métropole 0||FRA1|
|Nov 3, 2013||LOSC Lille Métropole 2 - AS Monaco 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|
|Nov 23, 2013||Stade de Reims 0 - Paris Saint-Germain 3||FRA1|
|Nov 9, 2013||Paris Saint-Germain 3 - OGC Nice 1||FRA1|
|-||Aurélien Chedjou Fongang||Defender|
|24||Rio Antonio Mavuba||Midfielder|
|-||Mohamed Lamine Sissoko||Midfielder|
Eden Hazard was named Ligue 1’s Player of the Month for March, testament to the excellent form of the Belgian. Despite being watched by many of Europe’s biggest clubs, he’s not flinched at all under the pressure, with his level of quality actually rising over the course of the campaign. With 16 goals this season, he’s more than doubled his previous best tally, yet he also remains a player who is willing to create for others. This could be his last great hurrah for les Dogues before a summer move.
Javier Pastore was signed as the poster boy for PSG last summer. After an explosive start to life in Paris, the Argentine faded somewhat, yet last weekend against Sochaux he was back to his very best again, playing a key role in the club’s thumping 6-1 victory. If he can recapture that form, the Argentine could lead Carlo Ancelotti’s side to three points in Lille that could come to define their season.
Sunday’s game is likely make-or-break for PSG, as a five-point gap to Montpellier would likely be too great to make up over the course of four matches at the end of the campaign. Ancelotti’s side simply have to win. Last weekend’s performance is certainly encouraging, but Lille are a strong force at home and are in great form of their own. Rudi Garcia’s men are, therefore, tipped to strike a crucial blow into PSG’s title hopes.