MX23RW : Saturday, June 19 21:44:08| >> :60:264:264:
May 16, 2021 at 8pm UK at Parc des Princes
PSGParis Saint-Germain
Neymar (13' pen.), Mbappe (24'), Marquinhos (68'), Kean (89')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Abdelhamid (10')

Preview: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Reims - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Reims, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With anything other than a win potentially handing Lille the Ligue 1 title, Paris Saint-Germain welcome Reims to the Parc des Princes for their final home match of the season.

Mauricio Pochettino's side dropped two points in the race for glory with a 1-1 draw against Rennes last time out, while Reims' winless run continued with defeat to Monaco.

Match preview

Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino pictured on February 16, 2021© Reuters

Tensions boiled over in the tunnel after PSG's draw with Rennes - with red-carded defender Presnel Kimpembe at the heart of it - as Pochettino's men lost more ground in the title race after being held to a 1-1 draw by Bruno Genesio's European chasers.

A controversial penalty for a foul on Layvin Kurzawa presented Neymar with the opportunity to open the scoring from the spot - a chance which he took, despite the reaches of Alfred Gomis - but Serhou Guirassy headed home a late equaliser to dent PSG's hopes of a fourth successive crown.

Despite breaking the 80-goal barrier with Neymar's penalty, PSG are now three points adrift of leaders Lille with two games remaining, and should Pochettino's side fail to get the better of Reims, the title could be Lille's if they manage to better PSG's result against Saint-Etienne.

A taxing Coupe de France semi-final against Montpellier HSC - which PSG eventually won on penalties - was hardly a welcome distraction for Pochettino, who will now be relying on a cup triumph in next week's final against Monaco to save his bacon as Lille march towards the Ligue 1 crown.

Nevertheless, PSG have taken 13 points from the last 15 on offer in Ligue 1, but they have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last eight league outings - a statistic which could have Reims believing in the prospect of a shock with no pressure on their shoulders.

Reims manager David Guion pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Ligue 1's resident draw specialists Reims would certainly have accepted such a result against Champions League-chasing Monaco last time out, but a swift counter-attack ended with Wissam Ben Yedder teeing up Eliot Matazo for his first Monegasques goal at 19 years of age.

Benjamin Lecomte did have to be called into action to preserve Monaco's lead, but Reims ultimately fell short for the sixth week running as David Guion hopes to somehow avoid a seventh game without victory at the home of the champions.

While the 13th-placed Rouges et Blances should not be in any real danger of a late scrap for survival, it is still mathematically possible for Reims to finish in the relegation playoff spot, so the importance of victory on the final day against Bordeaux cannot be understated.

Reims travel to the Parc des Princes boasting a mere two wins from their last 14 attempts in Ligue 1 - both of which came away from home, however - and they have strung together a respectable five-game unbeaten run on their travels since losing to Lorient 1-0 on February 6.

Any chances of that run continuing in the capital are extremely slim, though, as PSG eased to a 2-0 win on Reims turf earlier in the season, although Les Rouges et Blances did manage to come away with all three points in a 2-0 win at the Parc des Princes in September 2019.

Paris Saint-Germain Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Paris Saint-Germain form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W

Reims Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L

Team News

Neymar in action for PSG on April 3, 2021© Reuters

PSG defender Kimpembe has been slapped with a three-game ban for his sending off against Rennes - one of which he served in the cup - so Abdou Diallo is the most likely candidate to partner captain Marquinhos.

Marco Verratti is now out for the season with a knee injury and is also a doubt for Italy's Euro 2020 campaign, while Kurzawa's ankle problem sustained in the draw with Rennes is also serious enough to keep him out for the final weeks of the season.

Neymar came off the bench in the Coupe de France win and should demote Mauro Icardi back down to the bench this weekend, while further rotation should see Colin Dagba and Angel Di Maria both return, and Ander Herrera is back from suspension.

Reims youngster Dion Lopy enjoyed a breakthrough stint in the team before sustaining a hamstring problem, and the midfielder is a major doubt for this game alongside Moussa Doumbia, who sat out the loss to Monaco with a foot issue.

The visitors have no selection concerns otherwise - barring long-term absentee Valon Berisha - and Guion will be reluctant to shuffle the pack after his side gave Monaco a good run for their money.

Boulaye Dia's goals have dried up since his prolific opening to the season, but he will be desperate to net for the 15th time in league action at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.

Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Navas; Dagba, Marquinhos, Diallo, Bakker; Herrera, Pereira; Di Maria, Neymar, Draxler; Mbappe

Reims possible starting lineup:
Rajkovic; Foket, Faes, Abdelhamid, Konan; Cassama; Cafaro, Chavalerin, Munetsi, Mbuku; Dia

SM words green background

We say: Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Reims

Reims have virtually nothing but pride to play for ahead of this daunting contest, and that should be reflected in the visitors' performance.

PSG simply have to win if they want to take the title race right down to the wire, and despite a gruelling midweek encounter in the cup, a rotated side should have no problem easing to victory in the penultimate gameweek.

Top tip

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Marquinhos in action for Real Madrid on September 18, 2019
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