MX23RW : Tuesday, June 25 23:22:43| >> :600:2816762:2816762:
May 24, 2019 at 8.05pm UK at ​Stade Auguste-Delaune II (Reims)
Attendance: 20,299
Reims
3-1
PSGParis Saint-Germain
Rahman (36'), Cafaro (56'), Chavarria (90')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Mbappe (59')

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

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

Paris Saint-Germain will be looking to end their title-winning Ligue 1 campaign in style when they travel to Reims on Friday night for their final game of the season.

PSG have won 29 of their 37 league games this term to storm to the title, while Reims have also enjoyed a very successful season of their own - collecting 52 points to occupy ninth position.


Reims

Reims head coach David Guion pictured in January 2019© Reuters

Reims are actually six-time winners of Ligue 1, most recently landing the title in 1962. They have been nowhere near that standard in recent years, but this season will go down as a huge success for the club.

Indeed, Reims were only promoted back to France's top flight as winners of Ligue 2 last season. It was expected to be a tough campaign for the club, but they currently sit ninth in the table heading into the final set of fixtures.

Twelve wins, sixteen draws and nine defeats - that is how David Guion's have performed during the 2018-19 campaign. Only PSG (4), Lille (6), Lyon (8) and Montpellier (8) have lost fewer league games than Reims this term, which is an indication of just how impressive the team have been on their return to the top flight.

It has not been a case of strong home form versus poor results on the road - far from it. Seven wins have arrived in front of their own supporters, but they have only lost five of their 19 Ligue 1 matches on their travels.

Meanwhile, a total of just 36 goals scored makes them amongst the least productive teams in the final third, but they have only conceded 41 times, which is actually the joint-fifth best record in the division at this stage.

It has been a tough few months for Guion's side, however, when considering that they were without a win in the league between April 3 and May 11. Indeed, they lost four of their seven matches during that run - drawing the other three - before returning to winning ways away to Bordeaux last weekend.

There have been a lot of different contributors when it comes to goals, meanwhile, with the likes of Pablo Chavarria, Boulaye Dia, Arber Zeneli, Suk Hyun-Jun and Mathieu Cafaro all chipping in, but their leading scorer in Ligue 1 this term is Remi Oudin with 10.

It is difficult to imagine Reims overcoming PSG in this match when considering that the reigning champions have won the last two meetings - scoring eight times in the process. That said, the pair did play out a 1-1 draw when they last locked horns at the Stade Auguste-Delaune back in September 2015.

Recent form: DLDLLW


Paris Saint-Germain

Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring against Dijon on May 18, 2019© Reuters

PSG have not really needed to break a sweat this season en route to retaining the Ligue 1 title. The capital giants now have eight French championships to their name and it is difficult to envisage when their domestic domination will end.

Indeed, while the likes of Lille and Lyon deserve praise for impressive seasons, the gap from second-placed Lille to leaders PSG at this stage is 16 points. It should have been a lot more, but Thomas Tuchel's side have been able to take their foot off the gas in recent weeks due to their comfort at the summit.

A record of 29 wins, four draws and four defeats from 37 matches is impressive, while they have scored an incredible 104 goals and conceded just 32. A win against Reims would see them beat their points total from last season and they will once again be the team to stop in France's top flight next term.

Tuchel's side lost on penalties to Rennes in the Coupe de France final at the end of April, however, and were knocked out of the Coupe de la Ligue by Guingamp in the quarter-finals. For a team expected to clean up on the domestic stage, failing to win either of the cup competitions will be seen as a huge disappointment.

The Champions League, meanwhile, will also go down as another huge opportunity missed. PSG recorded a 2-0 win away to Manchester United in the first leg of their round-of-16 clash, but incredibly lost 3-1 in the return match on home soil to exit the competition on away goals.

This was supposed to be the season where the French giants made a strong play for the European Cup, but injuries to Edinson Cavani and Neymar cost them dearly, meaning that the club will have to settle for just the Ligue 1 title.

PSG have lost three of their last seven league fixtures, but have beaten Angers and Dijon in their last two. The 4-0 win over Dijon last weekend was much more like it in terms of the type of performance expected by Les Parisiens.

Kylian Mbappe has been the star of the show this season with 38 goals in all competitions, while Neymar and Cavani have managed 23 each despite their own issues this term. It has been a tough campaign due to a number of issues, but if the capital giants can keep hold of their key players and add some more quality this summer then there is no reason why they cannot challenge on all fronts during the 2019-20 campaign.

Recent form: LWLDWW
Recent form (all competitions): WLLDWW


Team News

Neymar in action for PSG on January 23, 2019© Reuters

Reims boss Guion has no fresh injury concerns from the team that faced Bordeaux last weekend.

Leading scorer Oudin and Marvin Martin were both left on the bench at the Stade Matmut-Atlantique but could return, while Chavarria will also be pushing for a spot in the starting XI, possibly at the expense of Hyun-jun.

There are not expected to be any changes in central defence, however, with Bjorn Engels again being joined by Yunus Abdelhamid.

As for PSG, Neymar will again miss out through suspension, while Thiago Silva is still injured. Marquinhos is available after serving a domestic ban, however, and should return to central defence.

Marco Verratti and Juan Bernat should also feature after being left out against Dijon last time out, but it is expected to be the same front three with Angel di Maria joining Mbappe and Cavani in attack.

Reims possible starting lineup:
Mendy; Foket, Engels, Abdelhamid, Kamara; Romao, Chavalerin; Cafaro, Martin, Doumbia; Chavarria

PSG possible starting lineup:
Areola; Meunier, Marquinhos, Kehrer, Bernat; Draxler, Paredes, Verratti; Mbappe, Cavani, Di Maria


Head To Head

PSG ran out 4-1 winners in the reverse clash in Paris earlier this season, but as mentioned, the pair played out a 1-1 draw when they last locked horns at the home of Reims in September 2015.

Reims also have a recent home league victory over PSG to their name, having recorded a 1-0 win at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in March 2013.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Reims 0-2 PSG

Reims deserve huge praise for what has been a brilliant season. PSG have not been at their best in recent weeks but should have more than enough to pick up all three points on Friday night.


Who will win Friday's Ligue 1 clash between Reims and PSG?

Reims
Draw
PSG
Reims
9.1%
Draw
9.1%
PSG
81.8%
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Kylian Mbappe scores for PSG on March 31, 2019
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