Probable lineups, predictions, tactics, team news and key stats
Paris Saint-Germain are aiming for their fourth consecutive Ligue 1 victory when they face Angers SCO on Wednesday.
After a three-game winning streak, Paris Saint-Germain could seal the Ligue 1 title for good when they face Angers on Wednesday. The Parisian juggernaut heads into this game with a 15-point lead over second-placed Marseille with just six games remaining until the end of the season.
A win on Wednesday could be enough to officially seal the title, handing points to Marseille against Nantes on the same day. Even if OM win a victory, it will be mathematically almost impossible for The Phoceans to recover a +21 goal difference that currently exists between the two teams at the moment.
As for Angers, the hosts currently sit 14th in the table, but there is only a five-point gap between them and 18th-placed Clermont Foot. If they end up losing points against PSG, it will allow Lorient, Troyes and Saint-Etienne to move up the table, potentially sending Angers back into relegation.
With 46 goals conceded, the hosts have one of the most elusive defenses in the league. But they have produced valiant performances against Lyon and Nantes in recent weeks and manager Gerald Baticle will be hoping to do more when his side take on the league leaders in midweek.
Team News and Tactics
⚫ 𝗡𝗢𝗦 𝟮𝟬 𝗦𝗢𝗟𝗗𝗔𝗧𝗦 ⚪ pic.twitter.com/FOqLcNljVj
— AngersSCO (@AngersSCO) April 19, 2022
Angers are expected to miss a few key players through injury, including Jimmy Cabot, Mathias Pereira Lage and Stephane Bahoken. They also sweat on the physical condition of Pierrick Capelle, who should be replaced by the returning Souleyman Doumbia.
The full-back had missed the last game through suspension and is expected to fill the left-back position, with Abdoulaye Bamba starting on the opposite flank. Their large-scale collective work ethic could go a long way in keeping PSG forwards quiet, although they could play an equally important role in providing the width going forward.
Angers, after all, have a packed attacking setup, led by the ever-impressive Angelo Fulgini. The Frenchman is expected to be paired with the technically shrewd figure of Sofiane Boufal, and both could pose real problems for PSG’s back line in midweek.
Speaking of defense, the Angers Baticle coach could once again deploy a three-man defense consisting of Enzo Ebosse, Romain Thomas and Ismaël Traoré.
Probable composition (3-5-2): Mandree; Ebossé, Traoré, Thomas; Bamba, Mangani, Mendy, Ounahi, Doumbia; Fulgini, Boufal
Paris Saint Germain
Considering his side’s performance in recent weeks, Mauricio Pochettino doesn’t have much reason to tinker with his starting XI. But the Argentine tactician has received several injury-related blows ahead of this contest, while Neymar will be sidelined through suspension.
— Paris Saint Germain (@PSG_English) April 19, 2022
The players in question are Lionel Messi, Marco Verratti and Presnel Kimpembe. They have all been beaten and will remain under observation. All will have to sit out for this match, paving the way for Mauro Icardi, Gini Wijnaldum and Sergio Ramos to return to the starting XI.
Another change could come in goal, with underachieving Gianluigi Donnarumma making way for Keylor Navas. The Costa Rican international has returned to form over the weekend and is in contention to start between the sticks on Wednesday.
Other changes could be made in attack. Neymar’s unavailability means Angel Di Maria could be accelerated into the XI, occupying the right flank. Icardi is expected to operate in the center while Mbappe will move to the left flank.
Wijnaldum should replace Verrati. Pochettino, however, has no shortage of exciting alternatives at his disposal, including Dina Ebimbe and the talented Xavi Simons.
Probable composition (4-3-3): Navas; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Ramos, Mendes; Gueye, Danilo, Wijnaldum; Di Maria, Icardi, Mbappe
- Angers have lost their last 11 Ligue 1 matches against PSG. In the history of the French championship, only Nantes against PSG (14) and Strasbourg against Lyon (13) have had a longer losing streak against a single opponent.
- Angers have won just two of their last 12 home games against PSG in Ligue 1.
- Only Metz (8) have collected fewer points than Angers in Ligue 1 in 2022.
- If PSG scores more points than Marseille, they will be crowned Ligue 1 champions for the 10th time after 1986, 1994, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020. They will then equal Saint-Etienne as a club the most titled. in the history of the championship, ahead of OM.
- Angers (27 years and 329 days) and PSG (28 years and 2 days) are the two teams with the oldest starting XIs on average in Ligue 1 this season.
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Nuno Mendes has been an impressive performer for PSG in recent weeks. The youngster gained confidence and offered consistent attacking support down the flanks, using his pace to good effect. His searing runs from the touchline coupled with equally deadly crosses have caused the opposition a lot of trouble lately.
PSG hope Mendes will play at the same level when they face Angers in midweek. With the opposition likely to operate in a deep block, Mendes’ ability to get to the signing and deliver crosses could make him a handy creative outlet for visitors.
The same can be said for Achraf Hakimi on the opposite flank, but Mendes has been a bit more consistent this season. And we are counting on the Portuguese international to perform again in this crucial match.
Angers 0-3 Paris Saint-Germain
PSG have been in electric form this month and it’s hard to imagine them switching gears anytime soon. The absence of Neymar and potentially Messi could be a blow for the visitors, but they have enough quality to dominate the opposition, especially considering the timely returns of Di Maria and Navas.
In this game, full-backs, in particular, Nuno Mendes could play a vital role in providing the creative outlet, while midfielders could advance into the box and perhaps even provide productivity up front, helping the PSG to secure a comfortable victory.