MX23RW : Wednesday, August 4 20:09:56| >> :600:281603:281603:
Jan 6, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard
St EtienneSaint-Etienne
1-1
PSGParis Saint-Germain
Hamouma (19')
Retsos (77')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Kean (22')
Draxler (83')

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

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

Paris Saint-Germain begin the Mauricio Pochettino era on Wednesday when they travel to Saint-Etienne for their first Ligue 1 fixture of 2021.

The hosts, meanwhile, have strung together a six-game unbeaten run in the top flight but remain just six points clear of the relegation zone.


Match preview

Saint-Etienne head coach Claude Puel pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Even though Saint-Etienne's win record this season leaves a lot to be desired, Claude Puel's men are not being put to the sword every week anymore.

A 2-2 draw with Monaco in their final game of 2020 stretched Les Verts' unbeaten run in Ligue 1 to six games, although five of those ties have ended with the spoils shared - including 0-0 and 2-2 draws with basement teams Dijon and Nimes respectively.

A 2-1 triumph at Bordeaux is the outlier in that sequence, and Saint-Etienne's position in the table is still volatile heading into the midway point of the season.

Puel's men cannot rise any higher up the table with a win on Wednesday, but defeat will open the door for Reims and Nantes - who face Dijon and Lyon respectively - to try to overtake Saint-Etienne in the congested bottom half.

Moreover, Les Verts have played out three draws in succession on home soil and are facing an uphill battle to triumph at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard for the first time since September 12.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino pictured on October 22, 2019© Reuters

Not even a 4-0 thrashing of Strasbourg could save Thomas Tuchel's job in the PSG dugout, and the French champions moved quickly to replace the German over the festive period.

Pochettino has been out of management since being sacked by Tottenham Hotspur in November 2019, and the Argentine - who made 95 appearances for PSG - is sure to be aware of the mammoth task facing him in this unforgiving role.

PSG ended 2020 third in the Ligue 1 table - one point behind title rivals Lyon and Lille - but the 11 wins that the capital outfit have chalked up this term is the most in the league.

Pochettino will ultimately be tasked with leading PSG to Champions League glory, but in the short-term, the 48-year-old must endeavour to do what he failed to in five years at Spurs - win a trophy.

A fourth-straight Ligue 1 triumph is already under serious threat as the top flight prepares to resume, but a first piece of silverware could be just around the corner as PSG prepare to take on Marseille in next week's Trophee des Champions.

For now, though, Pochettino will simply look to endear himself to the PSG faithful with victory against a dogged Saint-Etienne side, whom the French champions have not lost to since November 2012.

Saint-Etienne Ligue 1 form: DDDWDD

Paris Saint-Germain Ligue 1 form: DWLWDW
Paris Saint-Germain form (all competitions): WWLWDW


Team News

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

Saint-Etienne will be forced into a midfield reshuffle as Mahdi Camara and Yvan Neyou are both suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

Zaydou Youssouf is all but guaranteed to return to the engine room alongside Lucas Gourna-Douath, while Panagiotis Retsos, Yvann Macon, Gabriel Silva and Wahbi Khazri are all injured.

Harold Moukoudi returns from a ban of his own for this one and should demote 18-year-old Saidou Sow to the bench.

Meanwhile, Pochettino could be without as many as 10 players for his first match in charge, with Neymar not expected to come back from his ankle injury just yet.

Defensive trio Layvin Kurzawa, Alessandro Florenzi and Presnel Kimpembe also remain in the treatment room, while Rafinha has reportedly contracted coronavirus.

Juan Bernat is out for the long-term, and there are still question marks over the fitness of Danilo Pereira, Mauro Icardi, Abdou Diallo and Pablo Sarabia, but the latter two have outside chances of returning for this one.

Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Moulin; Debuchy, Moukoudi, Kolodziejczak, Trauco; Youssouf, Gourna-Douath; Monnet-Paquet, Aouchiche, Nordin; Bouanga

Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Navas; Marquinhos, Pembele, Kehrer; Dagba, Gueye, Herrera, Verratti, Bakker; Di Maria, Mbappe


SM words green background

We say: Saint-Etienne 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain

Saint-Etienne are not to be taken lightly despite winning just four matches this term, and the hosts are sure to fancy their chances with a plethora of PSG players out injured. It remains to be seen how Pochettino will line up in his inaugural game in the champions' dugout, but we still expect an injury-hit PSG team to get over the line and begin their new era in perfect fashion.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win 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.Away Win:data


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Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar reacts after sustaining an injury against Lyon in Ligue 1 on December 13, 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina32221670
United StatesUnited States25312379
JapanJapan2171240
Great BritainGreat Britain15181548
AustraliaAustralia1541736
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

MARATHON SWIMMING
· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

BOXING
· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

DIVING
· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

HOCKEY
· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Angers00000000
2Bordeaux00000000
3Brest00000000
4Clermont00000000
5Lens00000000
6Lille00000000
7Lorient00000000
8Metz00000000
9MonacoMonaco00000000
10Montpellier HSCMontpellier00000000
11NantesNantes00000000
12Nice00000000
13Lyon00000000
14Marseille00000000
15Paris Saint-GermainPSG00000000
16Reims00000000
17Rennes00000000
18Saint-EtienneSt Etienne00000000
19StrasbourgStrasbourg00000000
20Troyes00000000

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