MX23RW : Tuesday, October 20 08:59:19| >> :60:2151:2151:
Oct 5, 2019 at 4.30pm UK at Parc des Princes (Paris)
Attendance: 47,700
PSGParis Saint-Germain
Sarabia (13'), Icardi (37'), Gueye (59'), Neymar (90')
FT(HT: 2-0)

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

Sports Mole previews Paris Saint-Germain's meeting with Angers in Ligue 1 this weekend, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Paris Saint-Germain will look to tighten their hold on top spot in Ligue 1 when they welcome Angers to the Parc des Princes on Saturday.

Thomas Tuchel's side enjoyed a positive trip to Galatasaray during the week, claiming a comfortable 1-0 victory, but will be wary of the threat posed by an Angers side sitting just two points behind them in the table.

Match preview

PSG manager Thomas Tuchel pictured on October 1, 2019© Reuters

For PSG, the opening 11 games have gone largely as planned, with the Ligue 1 champions assuming their usual position at the top of the domestic table alongside winning their opening pair of Champions League fixtures - the first being a rampant 3-0 win over Real Madrid which highlighted the depth of talent in this current squad.

Tuchel will want attention to be focused entirely on what happens on the pitch following a summer in which all stories involving PSG seemingly revolved around Neymar, who pushed hard for a move to Barcelona over the transfer window but was denied a return to the Camp Nou, prompting supporters to roundly boo the Brazilian when he made his first appearance of the campaign.

Neymar may not want to be in Paris but his performances in the league so far have had the desired effect of helping the watching world forget about his summer antics, with the 27-year-old scoring crucial late winners in 1-0 victories over Strasbourg, Lyon and Bordeaux over the last few weeks.

Bolstered by the arrivals of attackers Mauro Icardi and Pablo Sarabia over the summer, along with the leadership of Edinson Cavani and the raw talent of Kylian Mbappe, PSG possess a front line capable of not just strolling to their seventh title in nine years but also dominating the European stage - something which will, as always, be the club's priority.

Indeed, under the watch of owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi, failure to simultaneously win the title at a canter and claim the club's first Champions League crown will no doubt provoke a change in manager and another massive shake-up of personnel, with Neymar and perhaps Mbappe seeking pastures new, meaning that this specific group of individuals may only have one campaign to achieve something together before the next cyclical revolution comes along.

Angers midfielder Baptiste Santamaria in Ligue 1 action Paris Saint-Germain in May 2019© Reuters

This mood of intense pressure to win trophies at PSG contrasts heavily with that of visitors Angers, who head into this game knowing that victory takes them to top spot after nine games, which would be an enormous achievement in itself for a club promoted to Ligue 1 in 2015.

However, it would be unfair to characterise Angers as somehow lucky to be where they are at this stage. This is a team which has outscored PSG in the league so far this term, netting 16 goals and winning four of their five games at home, all while staying loyal to a 4-1-4-1 system spearheaded by Rachid Alioui, who has four league goals in eight games.

Their current place in the table is a consequence of many years of steady, coordinated development under manager Stephane Moulin, who spent six years at the club as a player and took the manager role in 2011 after six years of working with Angers B - a kind of longevity and familial culture which feels light years away from the vagaries of PSG's ruthless multi-million conveyor belt of constant change.

Since being promoted in 2015, Angers' lowest league finish has been 14th in 2018, ending the campaign four points clear of safety, although their performances throughout the season - especially at home - suggested that they were a team which belonged in this division.

With a highest finish of ninth over the last four seasons, Angers can safely claim to be a team capable of existing comfortably near the higher end of the bottom half of the Ligue 1 table, but they will have the chance to demonstrate whether they have the ability to push higher than that this season when they take on PSG, who have beaten the former on nine out of 10 occasions.

Recent Paris Saint-Germain form: WWWLWW
Recent Angers form: WWLWWD

Team News

Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani goes down injury during a Ligue 1 clash with Bordeaux on February 9, 2019© Reuters

Tuchel will certainly be without the trio of Thilo Kehrer, Julian Draxler and Thomas Meunier, who picked up a thigh problem during the week.

The PSG boss continues to wait on the fitness of Cavani, with the Uruguayan striker back in training after suffering a hip injury in August, while Mbappe looks set for a first start since returning from injury after being used from the bench against Galatasaray.

Angers head into this game without Abdoulaye Bamba, an important member of the defence, after the Ivorian picked up a thigh injury ahead of the club's defeat to Lille last month.

Stephane Bahoken is expected to return from a thigh problem after the international break, although it remains unknown as to when Farid El Melali will recover from a knee ligament injury sustained a few weeks ago.

Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Navas; Mbe Soh, Silva, Kimpembe, Kurzawa; Marquinhos, Verratti, Gueye; Di Maria, Neymar, Mbappe

Angers possible starting lineup:
Butelle; Cisse, Traore, Thomas, Aït-Nouri; Santamaria; Thioub, Pereira Lage, Mangani, Capelle; Alioui

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We say: Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Angers

Much like recent wins over Strasbourg and Bordeaux, this will be a game much closer than what an outsider might expect, especially with Angers coming to the Parc des Princes knowing that a victory would take them top. However, with Mbappe and Neymar back in the starting XI after both players missed out during the week, you suspect that the Ligue 1 champions will ultimately win out in the end.


Who will win Saturday's Ligue 1 clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Angers?

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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