MX23RW : Saturday, November 28 22:33:37| >> :60:1055:1055:
Oct 18, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at Allianz Riviera (Nice)
PSGParis Saint-Germain
Ganago (67')
FT(HT: 0-2)
di Maria (15', 21'), Mbappe (88'), Icardi (91')

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

Sports Mole previews Nice's meeting with Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 on Friday, including predictions, team news and predicted lineups.

Paris Saint-Germain continue their defence of the Ligue 1 title on Friday when they meet Nice at the Allianz Riviera.

Thomas Tuchel's side, who sit two points clear at the top of the division, will be wary of the threat carried by a well-drilled Nice team.

Match preview

Patrick Vieira pictured in charge of Nice in May 2019© Reuters

Nice have recently found themselves embroiled in something of a PR nightmare after youngster Lamine Diaby admitted to stealing a £62,000 watch belonging to new signing Kasper Dolberg.

On the pitch, however, Les Aiglons find themselves in the familiar territory of ninth place after nine league games, falling closely in line with their seventh-place finish last season and eighth in the campaign before that.

While this is a team which can, as shown in 2017, penetrate the Champions League spots, Nice are generally regarded as a side whose strength is stability, performing consistently well at home and possessing a squad depth capable of negotiating the nine-month marathon of a league campaign.

Under the watch of Patrick Viera, one of the few recently retired players enjoying relative success in France, Nice almost always employ a mobile 4-3-3 system based on counterattacking at speed whilst maintaining a solid structure for when possession is ceded.

This acute organisation, combined with exciting talents such as Dolberg and Youcef Atal, make Nice a formidable opponent for any top side looking to dominate the ball - especially in front of their own supporters.

Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe celebrates scoring the opener against Manchester United on February 12, 2019© Reuters

As the Ligue 1 champions travel south this weekend, Tuchel will hope to steer attention back to affairs on the pitch amid increased reports suggesting that Kylian Mbappe, along with the Barcelona-bound Neymar, could leave the club next summer.

Although the aforementioned pair are crucial if PSG are to encounter success in the Champions League this season, other players have stepped into the spotlight during the opening nine league games.

New signing Pablo Sarabia has slotted in nicely on the right hand side of attack, and loan signing Mauro Icardi has got off the mark both domestically and in Europe, while midfielder Idrissa Gueye, formerly of Everton, has been a salutary influence in midfield.

Indeed, if PSG are going to meet the demands of club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi of winning both Ligue 1 and the Champions League, Tuchel will need to feel like he can count on his fringe players to deliver the goods in the league.

In the short term, however, PSG can feel confident ahead of facing Nice, whom they have beaten 10 times in their last 13 meetings.

Recent Nice form: WLWLDL
Recent Paris Saint-Germain form: WWLWWW

Team News

Kylian Mbappe scores for PSG on March 31, 2019© Reuters

Tuchel will definitely be without the aforementioned pair Neymar and Mbappe, with the former hobbling off after just 13 minutes of a friendly against Nigeria over the weekend.

Elsewhere, Colin Dagba, Julian Draxler and Thilo Kehrer are edging closer to returns from injury but Friday's game is likely to come too quickly.

Edinson Cavani, sidelined since August with a hip problem, could be in line for a return to action.

Nice, on the other hand, find themselves somewhat plagued by injury issues. Christophe Jallet, Ibrahim Cisse, Stanley Nsoki, Christophe Herelle, Gautier Lloris and Adam Ounas are all definitely ruled out, with no indication as to when any might return.

The only player who may return is Remi Walter, while Atal is suspended for this game.

Nice possible starting lineup:
Benitez; Burner, Pelmard, Dante, Sarr; Cyprien, Lusamba, Lees-Melou; Maolida, Claude Maurice, Dolberg

Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Navas; Meunier, Silva, Kimpembe, Diallo; Gueye, Paredes, Verratti; Sarabia, Icardi, Di Maria

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We say: Nice 1-3 Paris Saint-Germain

Nice will no doubt start the game quickly against the league leaders, and could get some joy down an inexperienced right hand side, but you get the impression that PSG, with or without Neymar and Mbappe, should end up wresting control of the pace of proceedings in midfield, giving the visitors a platform from which to score goals.


Who will win Friday's Ligue 1 clash between Nice and Paris Saint-Germain?

Paris Saint-Germain
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Neymar takes part in a Paris Saint-Germain training session in August 2019
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