Lille v PSG
When these two teams meet on Sunday evening, it’ll be all about one man, Christophe Galtier. The PSG manager was the mastermind behind Lille’s Ligue 1 title win two seasons ago and his former team would be expecting a tough battle. Last season, Christophe Galtier was in charge of Nice and when he visited Lille in mid-August, he stunned his former employers with a dominating 4-0 win, something they’ll be trying to avoid this time around.
Last season, with Galtier and a few key players gone, Lille followed up their league triumph with an embarrassing 10th place finish and a 0 Goal Difference. The poor season cost manager Jocelyn Gourvennec his job and Paulo Fonseca (former AS Roma manager) was named his replacement in June. Despite starting this season with a 4-1 win against AJ Auxerre and a 1-1 draw away at Nantes, there are reasonable concerns over the summer deals at the club. Sven Botman has made a big money move to Newcastle United in the Premier League while midfield duo Amadou Onana and Renato Sanches have moved to Everton and PSG, respectively. Going in the other direction, Mohamed Bayo was the only notable addition to the Lille squad the fans seem to be excited about. The Guinean striker made a €14.00m move from Clermont Foot where he scored 14 goals and grabbed 5 assists in the 2021/2022 season.
Sunday’s visitors, PSG have started the season in scary form, scoring 10 goals in their first 2 league games. A 5-0 win on the opening day away at Clermont Foot was followed by a 5-2 win at home to Montpellier.
Prior to the start of the league season, they had beaten Nantes 4-0 to win the Trophée des Champions.
Neymar Jr. has been the star of the show for PSG at this early stage with 5 goals and 3 assists to his name in 3 games. After a long summer vacation, the Brazilian forward looks to be back to his best for the reigning French Champions.
While things may appear rosy when you look at the scoreboard, PSG has one problem; a clash of egos. It’s a problem the club has struggled with for years now, most notably with Neymar Jr. and Cavani.
Right now, it appears to be Kylian Mbappe and unsurprisingly, Neymar Jr. with the pair clashing over penalty duties in the 5-2 win last weekend. There was also a moment where Mbappe walked away from a PSG counterattack because a pass was not played to him at the exact second he wanted it. A clearly frustrated Mbappe could be seen waving off his teammates while the attack was still on and an argument could be made that he could have been on the end of that chance if he had kept going.
While the attacking trio of Neymar, Messi and Mbappe have started the league season with 10G/A between them, there’s a feeling the unresolved issues amongst their stars could damage their chemistry in the latter stages of the season if not sorted out now.
This is a high-scoring fixture and Sunday’s clash is expected to follow that trend. In the past 5 meetings between these two sides, 14 goals have been scored with PSG netting 10 of those. However, Lille have grabbed two 1-0 victories in that period, proving that they are capable of sitting deep and grinding out results.
There has been just 1 draw between these two sides since 2017; a goalless encounter back in Lille’s 2020/21 title winning campaign. The last meeting between these teams ended in a 5-1 trashing in favour of PSG. Danilo Pereira grabbed a brace for the visitors with Leo Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Presnel Kimpembe getting in on the action as well.
- Lille 1 – 5 PSG (6th February, 2022)
- PSG 2 – 1 Lille (29th October, 2021)
- Lille 1 – 0 PSG (1st August, 2021)
Lille: The hosts are on a 4-game unbeaten run in Ligue 1 stretching back to last season. Their last defeat came at home to Monaco in a 2-1 loss. Since then, they’ve scored 10 goals in 4 league games but have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of those games. League Form: D-W-D-W-L
PSG: Coincidentally, the last league defeat suffered by the visitors was also at the hands of Monaco but theirs came 16 games ago. Since the defeat, they’ve drawn 3 and won 8 games in the league. League Form: W-W-W-W-D
Lille: With no injured or suspended players, Paulo Fonseca has his full squad to select from and is expected to stick to his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. Leo Jardim; Akim Zedadka, Jose Fonte, Alexsandro Riberio, Ismaily; Benjamin Andre, Angel Gomes; Jonathan David, Remy Cabella , Jonathan Bamba; Mohammed Bayo. (4-2-3-1)
PSG: Both Julian Draxler & Timothée Pembélé will be unavailable due to injuries but those two aside, Christophe Galtier has a healthy and fit squad to select from. Gianluigi Donnarumma; Sergio Ramos, Marquinhos, Presnel Kimpembe; Achraf Hakimi, Marco Verratti, Vítinha, Nuno Mendes; Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar Jr. (3-4-3)
Jonathan David (Lille): The Canadian international has started the season in brilliant form. In the opening 2 games, he’s registered 2 goals and 2 assists. Adding assists to his game would delight his teammates and new manager. Last season, he scored 19 goals in all competitions (including one against PSG) proving he is dependable in front of goal, however, he failed to produce a single assist. With his new found ability to create goals, he’ll be a danger to PSG’s back-three.
Leo Messi (PSG): With Kylian Mbappe & Neymar Jr. not exactly getting along, the 5’7’’ forward would be relied upon to be the bigger man and bring some maturity to the attack. With 3 G/A in the opening 2 league games of the season, he seems to have put the struggles of last season to bed. Perhaps being left off the Ballon d’Or nominees list for the first time since 2006 was all the motivation he needed.
- Lille have only lost 3 of their previous 19 home games in Ligue 1.
- Across all competitions, 9 of the previous 14 meetings between Lille and PSG have produced over 2.5 goals.
- PSG have only suffered 3 defeats in their last 31 league encounters.
- Over 2.5 goals: Given the history of this fixture, all signs point to this @1.57
- Goals Away Team (3+): PSG have scored 5 goals in each of their 2 league games this season. They also scored 5 when they visited Lille last season. If you expect them to score 3 or more goals, that’s a steal @2.53
- Home to win 1-0: With two 1-0 victories over PSG in their last 5 meetings, if you fancy Lille to do it for the third time, you can get that at a mouthwatering @19.50.
- Away To Score 2 in a Row: With PSG’s goal scoring form, this should be an easy hit for them at @1.65
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