Saint-Etienne-Paris Saint-Germain Preview: In form Les Verts aim to complete Parisian hat-trick
Christophe Galtier's high-flying side have already beaten PSG twice this season and will be hoping to pile more away-day misery for Carlo Ancelotti's men on Sunday
By Mohammed Ali
Clerc, Sall, Perrin, Brison
Gradel, Hamouma, Mollo
van der Wiel, Thiago Silva, Sakho, Maxwell
Menez, Verratti, Matuidi, Pastore
Saint-Etienne coach Christophe Galtier has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the visit of Paris Saint-Germain to Stade Geoffrey-Guichard.
Midfielder Jeremy Clement is out for six months following the horror ankle injury he sustained two weeks ago against Stade Rennes, with former PSG midfielder Mathieu Bodmer - who left the capital in January - set to take his place.
In-form Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will lead the line, with the likes of Max-Alain Gradel and Yohan Mollo providing the width.
For Paris Saint-Germain, Carlo Ancelotti will be without Christophe Jallet, Thiago Motta and Lucas Moura for the trip to the Rhone region.
Jeremy Menez could be in line for a recall, with Lucas being out for two weeks after an injury sustained in the 2-1 win over Nancy last weekend. David Beckham is likely to start from the bench, but will be in familiar surroundings as he returns to the venue where he was famously sent off for England against Argentina at World Cup 1998.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Saint-Etienne have beaten PSG twice this season, prevailing in Ligue 1 at Parc des Princes, with Ibrahimovic shown a red card before a 5-3 penalty shoot-out win in the Coupe de la Ligue - both in November.
- Christophe Galtier's side have not lost a game in 2013, winning six and drawing three - the best form of any side in Ligue 1.
- Les Verts' key striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sits behind only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the number of goals he has been involved in the top five European leagues since the turn of the year.
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic has not scored in 190 minutes against Saint-Etienne this season.
- Paris Saint-Germain sit top of Ligue 1, four points clear of Olympique Lyonnais, and just nine clear of fourth-placed ASSE.
- Les Parisiens have lost both of their last two away league encounters, to relegation-threatened Sochaux and Stade de Reims.
- PSG were drawn against Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals. The sides played out a 2-2 draw in a glitzy pre-season friendly in Paris in August, before the Catalans prevailed on penalties.
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Top 3 Predictions
AS Saint-Etienne 0-2 Paris Saint-Germain
- 16.34 %
AS Saint-Etienne 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain
- 12.71 %
AS Saint-Etienne 1-3 Paris Saint-Germain
- 10.77 %
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Oct 27, 2013||AS Saint-Etienne 2 - Paris Saint-Germain 2|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Mar 17, 2013||AS Saint-Etienne 2 - Paris Saint-Germain 2|
|France - Coupe de la Ligue (FRLC)||Nov 27, 2012||AS Saint-Etienne 0 - Paris Saint-Germain 0|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||Nov 3, 2012||Paris Saint-Germain 1 - AS Saint-Etienne 2|
|France - Ligue 1 (FRA1)||May 2, 2012||Paris Saint-Germain 2 - AS Saint-Etienne 0|
|Dec 4, 2013||Stade Rennais FC 3 - AS Saint-Etienne 1||FRA1|
|Nov 30, 2013||AS Saint-Etienne 4 - Stade de Reims 0||FRA1|
|Nov 24, 2013||OGC Nice 0 - AS Saint-Etienne 1||FRA1|
|Nov 10, 2013||AS Saint-Etienne 1 - Olympique Lyonnais 2||FRA1|
|Nov 2, 2013||FC Sochaux 0 - AS Saint-Etienne 0||FRA1|
|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|
|Nov 23, 2013||Stade de Reims 0 - Paris Saint-Germain 3||FRA1|
|1||Pape Abdoulaye Coulibaly||Goalkeeper|
|23||Gregory van der Wiel||Defender|
Undeniably one of the hottest properties in European football right now, Aubameyang's goalscoring credentials for Saint-Etienne brings him more than a few admiring glances from afar. His pace, keen eye for goal as well as creativity up front has boosted Christophe Galtier's side into unlikely Champions League qualification hopefuls, and with just nine points separating the sides heading into Sunday, all eyes are on the Gabon international for a stellar performance.
The Brazil international and new Paris Saint-Germain captain has injected solidity in the back-line since his return from injury, and with the leaders suffering back-to-back away defeats in the league to relegation-threatened teams, the former Milan star will hope to arrest that slide with a top performance on Sunday. His precision tackling and power at the back has won him plaudits, but will be faced with speed and counter-attacks aplenty on Sunday evening.
Saint-Etienne have been, since the turn of the year, one of the best sides if not the best in the division, and having already picked up two wins against Carlo Ancelotti's side this season, the odds are that the Ligue 1 leaders will falter here again to blow the title race wide open for yet another week.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed