Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Prediction: PSG vs Montpellier

Verdict: Kylian Mbappe to score

Best odds: 8/15

Bookmaker: 888sport

Paris Saint-Germain are set to take on Montpellier in the 21st round of the 2020-21 season in Ligue 1 on Friday evening at the Parc des Princes.

Paris Saint-Germain

PSG will be looking to win this game to fortify the top spot in the table against any intrusions from rivals. They are currently above Lille OSC on mere goal-difference with both teams on 42 points, and Olympique Lyon are close behind as well with 40.

The season didn’t start too well for the Ligue 1 champions, following their heart-breaking involvement in the Champions League final last summer. With the domestic title in their hands practically every year, it’s only to be understood that winning UEFA’s elite club competition remains their top priority, as well as an elusive dream for now.

This time around, they finished top of Group H, above RB Leipzig, Manchester United and Istanbul Basaksehir, and the round of 16 draw has been kind enough to offer them a chance of repaying Barcelona for that stunning turnaround in 2017. Let’s see if they can take it.

But back to France, PSG didn’t do too well early on and it eventually led to head coach Thomas Tuchel being replaced with Mauricio Pochettino. They have been on reasonably good form lately, however. They won four of their last six games – Strasbourg 4-0, Brest 3-0, both at home, 0-1 away to Angers last week, and Olympique Marseille 2-1 for the Trophee des Champions just before that. They drew the remaining two league games they played away in that period, 0-0 against Lille and 1-1 against Saint-Etienne.

Team News

Left-back Layvin Kurzawa is a slight doubt for this clash, having been withdrawn from game against Angers with a calf problem after scoring what turned out to be the winning goal. However, he is back in training and could be named in the team. Defenders Thilo Kehrer and Colin Dagba remain out, having tested positive for Covid-19 recently. Midfielder Raphinha is back after recovering from the infection himself, but Pochettino himself won’t be able to lead his men from the dugout as he continues with self-isolation.

Montpellier

Things couldn’t be more different for Montpellier recently. They won none of their last six outings, losing 0-2 at home to Metz, drawing 2-2 away to Brest, losing 2-3 at home to Lille, 3-1 away to Marseille, drawing 1-1 at home against Nantes, and eventually losing 2-3 at home to AS Monaco.

At the moment, Michel Der Zakarian’s team sit in 11th place with 28 points from 20 games, firmly in the middle of the pack with an eight-point gap between them and Monaco in fourth (the last place to lead into a European competition), and 13 points between them and Nimes in 18th, leading into the relegation play-offs.

Team News

Der Zakarian has no injury or Covid-19-related problems with his squad. The only absentee is midfielder Jordan Ferri, who misses out through a suspension due to an accumulation of yellow cards. Joris Chotard is expected to come in and take his place.

Midfielder Teji Savanier is back in contention after missing four games through injury and returning to action in the defeat to Monaco off the bench.

Conclusion

There can be no doubt that PSG are the absolute favourites to win this game. Montpellier would perhaps hope for some kind of a result to halt their recent poor form against any other opposition, but the champions will likely be ruthless, rather than sympathetic with their troubles. You’d fancy Kylian Mbappe to find the back of the net at least once.

Verdict: Kylian Mbappe to score

Best odds: 8/15

Bookmaker: 888sport

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 seven different football blogs.

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