PSG host Lyon this weekend in a tie which has been quite tight over the last few meetings. Les Parisiens narrowly beat Lyon 1-0 in their own backyard in September, thanks to a Lionel Messi goal in the fourth minute. Both sides had plenty of chances to score, but poor finishing ultimately lead to the low scoring game. On another day, the scoreline could have seen four or five goals.
When Lyon have travelled to the Parc des Princes during the last two seasons, they displayed plenty of grit and fight which unsettled the favourites PSG. If midtable Les Gones are to take away anything from Sunday’s match, then they will have to mirror those performances.
PSG’s last game before the international break displayed their lack of quality in squad depth. They hosted Rennes and were defeated 2-0 by the visitors, albeit they were missing a handful of key players. A back three of Juan Bernat, Danilo Pereiera and seventeen year-old El Chadaille Bitshiabu was fielded, with the only natural center half being the youngster. But luckily for the Parisians, Sergio Ramos and Marquinhos trained during the international break and they could make a return.
That defeat to Rennes was PSG’s first loss at home this campaign, having won eleven of their fourteen matches at the Parc des Princes this season. Each game played at home has seen an average of 3.6 goals with PSG averaging 2.4 goals, clearly showing their free flowing attacking capability. Although Christophe Galtier’s side are incredible going forward, they are prone to being slightly leaky in defence.
PSG concede just over a goal per game on average at home and they have conceded at least twice in their last three home matches.PSG do have arguably the two best players in the world up front however, and the duo of Kylian Mbappe and Messi can pretty much win any game between themselves. Messi and Mbappe have registered 26 goals and assists, and 22 G/A respectively this season, but they will have to deal without their Brazilian teammate Neymar, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season due to injury.
Tenth placed Lyon are experiencing an inconsistent season under the management of Laurent Blanc. The team seem to perform well against opposition that is lower than them in the table, yet when they face a side who are above them, they struggle. The squad is a mixture of youth and veterans, but they lack players who are in their prime. For example in their most recent 1-1 draw against Nantes, the back line consisted of 35 year-old Remy Riou, 18 year-old Sael Kumbedi, 33 year-old Dejan Lovren, 20 year-old Castello Lukeba and 30 year-old Nicolas Tagliafico. It is quite clear to see that Lyon are at the beginning of a rebuild process.
Lyon’s last away game ended in a 3-3 draw against sixth place Lille. Twenty year-old Bradley Barcola starred, scoring, and setting up substitute Lacazette’s late equaliser, his second of the game. Conceding three goals will concern Blanc, but their ability to regain a point from a 2-0 deficit will certainly please the 57 year-old. Lyon haven’t struggled with scoring goals away from home, but they do concede 1.5 on average per game. The side have seen both teams score in 71% of their games on the road and I don’t expect that trend to stop this weekend.
This tie should see goals, given both teams recent games before the international break. Galtier and Blanc are also still experimenting in order to find their favoured starting XI, which doesn’t allow for connections to be built on the field. Both teams to score seems likely, as it has occurred in eight of Lyon’s last nine games and in eight of PSG’s last twelve. The home side will have the advantage and I expect them to win on Sunday. PSG to win and over 2.5 goals would be my prediction, which is priced at 10/11. PSG to win and both teams to score is priced at 7/4 which I also like.