PSG vs Clermont – LIVE Reddit Soccer 06/08/2022
Paris Saint-Germain will begin their Ligue 1 title defence with an encounter against Clermont Foot on Saturday. Paris Saint-Germain will start life under new manager Christophe Galtier with an away trip to Clermont Foot to kick off their Ligue 1 campaign. The French giants finished atop the league table last season after missing out on the title to Lille in the previous campaign. Even with the suspended Kylian Mbappe helplessly watching on, Les Parisiens struck through Neymar (2), Lionel Messi and an audacious Sergio Ramos backheel – the veteran Spaniard clearly took inspiration from Lionesses hero Alessia Russo. Winning the Trophee des Champions certainly does not guarantee one’s future in the PSG hotseat, but Galtier and football advisor Luis Campos have made some astute young acquisitions this summer, as the 2020-21 Ligue 1 title winner tries to prove that he is here for the long haul.
Defending their Ligue 1 title is Galtier’s prerequisite, but the Frenchman could hardly be under any more pressure to finally deliver success in the Champions League after a multitude of early eliminations, which have often been humiliating in nature. PSG thrashed Clermont 6-1 at the Stade Gabriel-Montpeid last term and previously ran out 4-0 winners over Les Lanciers at the Parc des Princes, so the hosts’ pre-season defensive resilience may count for nought on the opening day.
Clermont are not reported to be dealing with any injury concerns at this moment in time, and Gastien should therefore have a fully-fit squad at his disposal, with no players missing through suspension either. Jeremie Bela may need more time to get up to speed with his new teammates after arriving from Birmingham City, and fellow new arrivals Maxime Gonalons and Komnen Andric have strong chances of starting this one. Mohamed Bayo, Salis Abdul Samed, Vital Nsimba, Cedric Hountondji and Akim Zedadka have all moved onto pastures new this summer, so a new-look backline will take to the pitch for the hosts. As for PSG, Galtier would have welcomed Mbappe back with open arms after he served his ban in the Coupe de France, but the Frenchman is also ruled out of this one with an adductor issue.
Julian Draxler is also still sidelined with a knee injury but would have been unlikely to start here anyway, while Hugo Ekitike is in the squad and will hope to take advantage of Mbappe’s absence, but Pablo Sarabia represents a more experienced option. Galtier has been partial to a three-man backline so far at PSG and has no reason to fix what is not broken here, while the two midfield spots could belong to Marco Verratti and Vitinha.
But their 2021/22 campaign was marred by their failure to win the UEFA Champions League, which forced a change in the managerial hotseat. PSG have also managed to hold on to Kylian Mbappe, who looked destined to move to Real Madrid this summer. Les Parisiens had a great pre-season, winning all four of their friendly matches. They also defeated Nantes 4-0 in the Trophee des Champions to kick off their new campaign on a high. PSG will want to maintain their form and defend their Ligue 1 title, while a Champions League triumph remains the ultimate prize for them.
Clermont Foot, on the other hand, have a completely different set of objectives after a 17th-placed finish last season. They will be eager to hold on to their top-flight status for another season, and there won’t be a better start than taking points off PSG on the opening day. Clermont Foot had a positive pre-season overall, winning four of their six matches. Clermont’s most recent friendly encounter against Montpellier finished in a 1-0 win on July 31. They will want to continue in a similar vein as the Ligue 1 season kicks off.
Clermont Foot gained promotion to the Ligue 1 last season and managed to stay afloat in miraculous fashion, finishing 17th in the league. Pascal Gastien’s men caused quite a few upsets last campaign and will want to start the new campaign in a similar fashion. Gastien will be without full-back Mehdi Zeffane for the encounter but is expected to have the rest of his squad fit. He prefers a 4-2-3-1 and is expected to field a similar lineup against PSG as well.
Mory Diaw will line up between the sticks for the hosts, with a back four of Alidu Seidu, Mateusz Wieteska, Florent Ogier and Neto Borges protecting him. Up ahead in midfield, Johan Gastien and Maxime Gonalons will look to cover the backline by keeping things tight in the middle of the park. Jodel Dossou and Jim Allevinah will be the two wide attackers for Clermont Foot, with Komnen Andric leading the line against PSG. Jason Berthomeir will play just behind Andric, looking to pull the strings higher up the pitch. Paris Saint-Germain begin the defence of their Ligue 1 title with Saturday’s trip to the Stade Gabriel-Montpied to face Clermont in gameweek one. Meanwhile, the hosts are preparing for their second consecutive season of top-flight football after successfully staving off relegation last term.
A welcome addition to the big time, Clermont were not averse to shocking the big teams in the 2021-22 season, and Pascal Gastien managed to secure another season of Ligue 1 football for his side with a 17th-placed finish. After taking eight points from their first four games of the season – remaining unbeaten in the process – Clermont unsurprisingly drifted to the lower echelons of the division but still managed to post memorable wins over Lille, Rennes, Marseille and Nice.
Montpellier HSC, Rodez and Toulouse have already fallen to Clermont’s superiority in pre-season friendlies, and Les Lanciers kept clean sheets in all of those battles, but Lens and Grenoble Foot both got the better of Gastien’s side. Shoring up the defence has clearly been the theme for Gastien this summer, especially as his side conceded at least one goal in each of their last 10 Ligue 1 matches at home, and PSG have already stamped their authority on the French game under Christophe Galtier.
Galtier did not need the early blot of Trophee des Champions failure on his notebook as he seeks to appease the trigger-happy Parisiens board, but the former Lille and Nice boss oversaw a convincing success over Coupe de France winners Nantes during the Super Cup showdown in Israel.