Paris Saint-Germain head north on Sunday in their first major test of the Ligue 1 season when they face Lille OSC at Stade Pierre Mauroy. Les Dogues have started solidly under Paulo Fonseca and are second in the early-season table with four points from six which makes it a top-two clash after just two rounds of fixtures. PSG have hit five in each of their two opening games, but Christophe Galtier’s side will face more of a challenge when he leads his players in Lille where he won the Championnat title two seasons ago. A 4-1 home win over AJ Auxerre was followed up by a draw away at FC Nantes which represents a decent start to this term given the changes being made to the squad.
Renato Sanches returns as a PSG player despite starting this campaign with Lille and Canada international Jonathan David remains with LOSC and has started the season with two goals and two assists. Although the visitors will be favorites, the hosts have the quality to cause Les Parisiens some problems this weekend with Remy Cabella also returning to form since his summer move to Stade Pierre Mauroy. This week has been dominated by speculation over a rift between superstar pair Kylian Mbappe and Neymar which Galtier wasted little time in addressing in his Friday press conference ahead of the trip north: “There is no unease,” said the French tactician. “We saw each other the next day to say what there was to say. I tell you that in total sincerity. “They were a trio last year and we have seen more of Neymar and Lionel [Messi] so far because Kylian has been absent.
The trio was very effective last week. The players are constantly looking for each other. It is a real trio in my eyes — not a pair. It is easy to integrate a player like Kylian.” On the topic of penalties which has been an issue in the past too when Edinson Cavani was the regular taker before Neymar’s arrival, Galtier also pointed out that the likes of Messi and even Sergio Ramos can also take spot kicks while he rejected the idea that the Brazilian could be about to leave. PSG heads into Ligue 1 matchday three as the clear top team in France, but the club sure will have its fair share of difficulties in breaking down Lille OSC’s stout deep blocks. At the least, PSG should still come away with a win on the matchday, with Lionel Messi getting on the scoresheet and proving that his strong start to the campaign was not a fluke. Reigning Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain face Lille on Sunday night, a familiar foe for the capital side’s new manager.
Christophe Galtier famously led Lille to the 2021 Ligue 1 title, knocking PSG off their lofty perch with a wage bill nine times smaller than that of their rivals. Incidentally, Galtier led Nice to a 4-0 victory over Lille on his first return to the Stade Pierre Mauroy last season. Here’s the PSG XI Galtier may deploy to earn another victory against his former employers. Aiming to make it three wins from three games at the start of the new Ligue 1 campaign, Paris Saint-Germain will travel to take on Lille on Sunday. Les Parisiens have kicked off their title defence with resounding wins over Clermont and Montpellier, while their opponents are also unbeaten with four points on the board. After winning the Ligue 1 title in the 2020-21 season, Lille experienced a much tougher campaign last time around following Christophe Galtier’s departure, eventually finishing 10th in France’s top flight. Having appointed Paulo Fonseca as their new boss over the summer, Les Dogues headed into the new term with optimism, and they began on the front foot with a dominant victory over newly-promoted Auxerre.
Benjamin Andre and Jonathan David had them 2-0 up inside four minutes, and David would net a second before Akim Zedadka stretched their lead to four, with Gaetan Charbonnier’s consolation goal for the visitors being the only blemish on an impressive day at the office. They then travelled to Nantes last time out, and, after Moses Simon gave their hosts a lead, Les Dogues were only able to leave with a point thanks to Ismaily’s second-half equaliser. Lille are without Tiago Djalo on Sunday due to a suspension, while Timothy Weah remains sidelined with an injury issue. Mohamed Bayo should again lead the line, with Jonathan David remaining another star in attack, having scored two goals from the wing in their opening-day win. In a 4-2-3-1 setup, Angel Gomes and Benjamin Andre should again play in the engine room, with Jose Fonte continuing to command the back line at the age of 38 years old.
Now hoping to extend their unbeaten start to the season, Lille face a particularly difficult task, as they host the side who regained the title off them last season, led by the manager who guided them to the surprise triumph in 2021. After leaving Lille and spending a year with Nice, Christophe Galtier has found a new home in the French capital, and Les Parisiens have quickly taken to his leadership, firstly thrashing Nantes 4-0 in the Trophee des Champions final as Neymar hit a brace alongside goals from Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos. They then kicked off the league campaign with a trip to Clermont and dished out a 5-0 beating, with Neymar again on the scoresheet before Achraf Hakimi and Marquinhos took the lead. Such results mean the defending champions have already netted 14 goals in three competitive games under their new boss, after the board made the decision to dismiss Mauricio Pochettino over the summer with further Ligue 1 dominance and the hopes of a Champions League title in mind. In their bid for a ninth league title in 11 years, Paris Saint-Germain will go in search of a third straight top-flight win on Sunday to keep their lead at the summit of the division and dish out a blow to one of the sides expected to be in the chasing pack.
Lille possible starting lineup:
Leonardo; Zedadka, Fonte, Alexsandro, Gudmundsson; Andre, Gomes; David, Cabella, Bamba; Bayo
Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Ramos, Marquinhos, Kimpembe; Hakimi, Verratti, Sanches, Mendes; Messi; Neymar, Mbappe