MX23RW : Wednesday, July 28 17:54:20| >> :120:8486:8486:
Feb 13, 2021 at 4pm UK at Parc des Princes
PSGParis Saint-Germain
2-1
NiceNice
Draxler (22'), Kean (76')
Mbappe (87'), Herrera (89')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Lopes (50')

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

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

Two teams fresh from victory in their opening Coupe de France matches of the 2020-21 campaign lock horns at the Parc des Princes on Saturday as Paris Saint-Germain take on Nice.

The hosts scraped a 1-0 victory over Caen in their midweek cup game, while Nice eased past fellow top-flight outfit Nimes for a second victory in succession.


Match preview

Paris Saint-Germain PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino pictured on January 9, 2021© Reuters

Even with numerous changes, Mauricio Pochettino would have expected his PSG side to notch up more than a solitary goal against second-tier Caen, but Moise Kean's 49th-minute winner was all that separated the two teams on the night as the French champions managed to secure a third victory on the trot.

However, one dampening aspect of that midweek defeat was the injury to star man Neymar, who lasted 60 minutes before being scythed down and sustaining an adductor problem, and the ex-Barcelona man will be unable to face his former club in the Champions League next week.

A Neymar-less PSG will have to navigate this weekend's task with their usual defensive solidity if they are to come up trumps, as the 1-0 win at Caen represented their third win and clean sheet in succession in all competitions since that shock defeat to Lorient last month.

Pochettino's PSG have won six of their last seven in the top flight and are not relinquishing their Ligue 1 crown without a fight, but they remain three points behind a rampant Lille outfit at the top of the table, while Lyon's own remarkable winning streak is keeping them just above the champions after 24 matches.

This week's hosts needed no second invitation to stamp their authority on Marseille and take the spoils in the 100th Classique last weekend, with Mauro Icardi and Kylian Mbappe - the latter scoring his 16th league goal of the season - propelling Pochettino's side to victory over their under-performing rivals, but Nice are starting to show a glimmer of hope after their torrid run of late.

Nice's Pierre Lees-Melou celebrates with teammates after scoring against AS Monaco on November 8, 2020© Reuters

The less said about Nice's season as a whole the better, but Adrien Ursea has at least witnessed his side record back-to-back victories for the first time since he took over from Patrick Vieira.

An unexpected 3-0 triumph against Angers preceded another three-goal showing at the home of basement side Nimes in the Coupe de France, during which Rony Lopes bagged a brace and Pierre Lees Melou completed the rout as Nice advanced to the next round of the cup with minimal difficulty.

Les Aiglons' dominant victory over Angers was only their third in 14 Ligue 1 outings, and with a 10-point gap now separating this weekend's visitors from the bottom three, any fears of relegation will be quashed if Nice can pick up a few more victories in the coming weeks.

Furthermore, Nice's form on the road is surprisingly strong, as they have lost just two of their last nine away outings in the top flight, but trying to get one over PSG - no matter how many injury problems they have - could be a bridge too far for Les Aiglons.

The champions eased to a 3-0 win at the Allianz Riviera earlier in the campaign, and Nice have not walked away from the capital with all three points since the 2009-10 campaign.

Paris Saint-Germain Ligue 1 form: WWWLWW
Paris Saint-Germain form (all competitions): WWLWWW

Nice Ligue 1 form: DLWLLW
Nice form (all competitions): LWLLWW


Team News

Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar reacts after sustaining an injury against Lyon in Ligue 1 on December 13, 2020© Reuters

PSG revealed on Thursday that Neymar will be sidelined for approximately four weeks with his adductor injury, and Pochettino has also lost another winger in Angel Di Maria to the thigh problem he sustained in Le Classique last Sunday.

Pablo Sarabia can therefore look forward to another start out wide this weekend, but Marco Verratti took a boot to the hip from Dimitri Payet at the weekend and is also doubtful for this one.

Keylor Navas is expected to return in between the sticks against Barcelona but may not be risked here, while Mauro Icardi should demote Kean to the bench despite his winning goal in the Coupe de France.

Nice must make do without their two recognised right-backs in Jordan Lotomba and Youcef Atal, while former Arsenal protege Jeff Reine-Adelaide is now out for the season with an ACL injury.

The absences of Lotomba and Atal means that 20-year-old Andy Pelmard could be trying to keep Mbappe quiet, while the injury-plagued Kasper Dolberg is not available after undergoing an operation for appendicitis.

The French Football Federation are reportedly set to investigate a leaked video involving William Saliba, but Ursea has stressed that the incident is in the past and Nice's player of the month for January is highly unlikely to be dropped.

Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Rico; Florenzi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Kurzawa; Gueye, Paredes, Draxler; Sarabia, Icardi, Mbappe

Nice possible starting lineup:
Benitez; Pelmard, Saliba, Todibo, Kamara; Thuram, Lees Melou, Boudaoui; Lopes, Maolida, Gouiri


SM words green background

We say: Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Nice

PSG's infirmary is starting to fill up again at the worst possible time, but the champions should have no problem overcoming a Nice outfit who have flattered to deceive for most of the campaign. The visitors are showing signs of life at long last, but Pochettino's men are expected to have too much firepower for Ursea's side and will look to keep pace with Lille and Lyon with a routine win this weekend.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data


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Paris Saint-Germain PSG attacker Angel Di Maria pictured on January 9, 2021
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Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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