Friday, December 13, 2019

Prediction: PSG vs Lille

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 21 Nov 2019

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Verdict: Mauro Icardi to score

Best odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: William Hill

Paris Saint-Germain will play host to Lille OSC in what will be the 14th game of the Ligue 1 campaign for the two teams at the Parc des Princes on Friday evening.

Paris Saint-Germain

The defending champions have been terrific in the competition this season, winning 10 of the previous 13 games and sitting comfortably at the top of the table with an eight-point advantage over second-place Olympique Marseille. They have been known to lose unexpectedly, but that seems to have helped them stay on their toes rather than hindered their ambition to win the league for the seventh time in the last eight years.

Their last defeat was at the hands of Dijon in the round before last, but the game was squeezed in between the thrashing of Marseille and the Champions League triumph over Club Brugge.

There can be no sensible discussion about the quality of the team at head coach Thomas Tuchel’s disposal, though the club has been a target for other European giants in terms of prizing their biggest stars away, such as Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Team News

However, Neymar has been struggling with a thigh problem recently, and his involvement against Lille remains a question mark. The same goes for Mbappe who was struck down by a virus, but hasn’t been ruled out yet, as well as midfielder Marco Veratti who is recovering from a calf injury. Goalkeeper Keylor Navas is also a doubt.

Fullback Thomas Meunier is out, as is midfielder Ander Herrera. Defender Thilo Kehrer should be back in contention after a foot injury.

Lille

After finishing second last season, Lille are finding it difficult to keep up with that success, let alone make the next step. It appears that playing in the Champions League has stretched them too thin, and they aren’t doing particularly well there either. In fact, they have no chance of progressing to the knockout stages and it would be a miracle if they don’t finish last in their group, also containing Chelsea, Ajax and Valencia.

They are currently fifth in Ligue 1, with Angers and St-Etienne above them (along with PSG and Marseille) and a cluster of teams hot on their heels below. Their form can only be described as inconsistent at the moment, with one win, two draws and two defeats perfectly shuffled across the last five league rounds.

Team News

Lille coach Christophe Galtier has no fresh injury concerns, though forwards  Jonathan Ikone and Timothy Weah, defender Saad Agouzoul and midfielder Boubakary Soumare remain absent and have no determined return time-scale.

Conclusion

Looking at this clash on paper, it’s quite reasonable to assume that PSG shouldn’t have too much difficulty in dealing with Lille, but Lille have shown before, especially under Galtier, that they can punch above their weight sometimes. The visitors will certainly be looking to take advantage of PSG’s upcoming clash with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu next week, though they do have a game of their own to think about as they play host to Ajax on Wednesday.

The game should therefore be a cautious one with both sides wishing to avoid adding names to their injury lists, but it feels that Mauro Icardi will take the torch again and prove the difference between the two teams, especially if both Neymar and Mbappe are out.

Verdict: Mauro Icardi to score

Best odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: William Hill

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on four different football blogs.

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