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Lens vs PSG LIVE Match

Defending champions PSG face a stern test when they take on high-flying Lens at Estadio Bollaert-Delelis on Sunday.Lens vs PSG LIVE Match

Christophe Galtier’s charges are the only unbeaten side in Europe’s top five leagues this season and are currently at the top of the Ligue 1 standings. They hold a seven-point lead over second-placed Lens and can extend it further by securing all three points on the night.

Franck Haise’s men are no pushovers and have fearlessly faced any challenge thrown at them this season. A mean defence that has let in just ten goals forms the foundation for the home side’s success this season. Paris Saint-Germain have netted 45 goals this season, the most of any side in Ligue 1. It is fair to say that Lens will face their litmus test at the back on New Years’ day.

Lens have not lost to PSG at home since securing promotion back to the French top flight in 2020/21. They are just one of three sides to do so during that period and have every reason to believe they can cause an upset on the night. Not many teams can outdo PSG domestically, and the fact that Lens are the only side to have a 100 per cent win rate at home in the league this season speaks volumes about their ability.

PSG arrive as heavy favourites but had to rely on a stoppage-time penalty from Kylian Mbappe to secure a win against Strasbourg earlier this week. The French superstar will once again be relied upon in the absence of Neymar and Lionel Messi.

The result on the night could very well give us an indicator as to where the Ligue 1 title will end up this season. The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on the night and what tactics they might employ

Team News & Tactics

Lens

 

Les Sand et Or have come a long way in the last few years. Lens were floundering in the second division in 2019/20. But just three years later, they have emerged as the biggest threat to PSG’s death grip on the Ligue 1 title.

Backed up by a resolute rearguard, Franck Haise’s men have rallied together and currently sit pretty in the second spot in the league. Another win will see them not just snap PSG’s unbeaten run this season but also close the gap to the top to four points.

Lens are the only side with a 100 per cent home record in Ligue 1 this season, and with home support to boot, that record could very well stay intact come the full-time whistle. PSG also have several stars unavailable, meaning the home side could make the most of the opportunity.

Haise will be without several players on the night and will have decisions to make. Jimmy Cabot and Wuilker Farinez have both injured their ACLs and are long-term absentees. David da Costa is out with a shoulder injury, while Adam Buksa is nursing a knock on the ankle.

Given the absentees, Lens are likely to deploy in a 3-4-3 formation that will be intended to win the midfield battle. PSG’s central midfield plays a big role in their buildup, and keeping Marco Verratti and co. under wraps can help the home side seize the initiative.

Brice Samba should start in goal behind the back three of Jonathan Gradit, Kevin Danso and Facundo Medina. Przemyslaw Frankowski and Deiver Machado are likely to start at full-back with the duo of Salis Abdul Samed and Seko Fofana holding the fort in the middle of the park.

The attack is likely to be spearheaded by Lois Openda, with Florian Sotoca, and Wesley Said backing him up on the outside. With Presnel Kimpembe unavailable and Marquinhos suffering from a dip in form, Lens could seize the initiative by taking the game to their opponents.

Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Samba; Gradit, Danso, Medina; Frankowski, Abdul Samed, Fofana, Machado; Sotoca, Openda, Said

PSG

Paris Saint-Germain are still the only unbeaten side in Europe’s top five leagues. But they will face arguably their toughest domestic test at Estadio Bollaert-Delelis. The arena has not been kind to visitors this season, and Christophe Galtier’s men arrive with several key cogs missing.

The defending champions will be without the attacking duo of Neymar, who is suspended, and Lionel Messi, who is enjoying a well-earned break following his World Cup exploits.

In defence, Presnel Kimpembe is still out, while Nuno Mendes is another two weeks away from returning to action. Juan Bernat sat out of the win against Strasbourg but will be expected to return to the lineup on Sunday. Danilo Pereira will also be unavailable, while Achraf Hakimi looks set to replace Nordi Mukiele in the playing XI.

Galtier is likely to deploy his side in a 4-3-1-2 formation on the night. Gianluigi Donnarumma should start in goal behind the back four of Hakimi, Sergio Ramos, Marquinhos and Bernat. 

 

Marquinhos is smarting from missing his penalty for Brazil at the World Cup and an own goal against Strasbourg earlier in the week. The centre-back’s fragile confidence could be an opening for Lens.

Marco Verratti should dictate terms in midfield and will act as the base of the PSG three. He will be complemented by Vitinha and Fabian Ruiz. 

Carlos Soler will don Neymar’s role as the number 10 on the night. Kylian Mbappe will start up front as the focal point and should be partnered by youngster Hugo Ekitike. A win on the night should more or less give PSG a massive shot in the arm in the race for the Ligue 1 title.

Probable Lineup (4-3-1-2): Donnarumma; Hakimi, Ramos, Marquinhos, Bernat; Ruiz, Verratti, Vitinha; Soler; Ekitike, Mbappe

Key Stats

  • Lens have won just one of their last 13 games against PSG. This was all the way back in September 2020. Since their return to the French top flight in 2020/21, Lens are yet to lose to PSG at home. Alongside AS Monaco and Stade Rennes, Lens are the only side that PSG have failed to defeat at home during this period.
  • Lens have kept eight clean sheets in Ligue 1 this season. Only PSG have a better defensive record, with nine shutouts.
  • PSG have found the back of the net in their last 35 Ligue 1 games. They have plundered 91 goals during that time frame.
  • Lens have won their last eight home games in Ligue 1 on the trot. It is currently the best winning run for any side in the French top flight.
  • A win on the night will see Lens equal their best-ever winning run in Ligue 1 history.

Player to Watch

Kylian Mbappe

Lens vs PSG LIVE Match
Lens vs PSG LIVE MatchKylian Mbappe is PSG’s main man

The Frenchman was the beating heart of his side’s efforts in the World Cup final and once again showed nerves of steel by scoring a 96th-minute penalty against Strasbourg last time out. With Lionel Messi and Neymar out, Mbappe will be tasked with finding the back of the net and making a difference upfront.

He will have his work cut out against Lens’ mean defence and could find it tough going especially if service is cut off from midfield. However, there is no better player in world football than the 24-year-old to turn a game in his side’s favour in a second. It is fair to say that should PSG come away with all three points on the night, they will need their star man to go in all guns blazing.

Lens vs PSG LIVE Match

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