PSG vs Lorient – LIVE Reddit Soccer 4/3/2022
Paris Saint-Germain welcome FC Lorient to Parc des Princes on Sunday for the final match of the Ligue 1 weekend. The home side are 12 points clear in first place coming into this weekend while the away side is just one point above the relegation zone. Mauricio Pochettino will be without a whole host of regular starters so Les Parisiens might be more vulnerable than usual.
PSG: After their heavy loss to AS Monaco, the Ligue 1 leaders’ advantage has been cut to 12 points. Not enough to put their title hopes in jeopardy, but enough to start worrying them about losing further points. Despite their absences, Pochettino’s men should have enough to see off a side which has just about kept its head above water so far this season.
Lorient: Christophe Pelissier’s men have lost just two of their last seven with three wins and two draws in that time to give themselves hope of survival. However, the Bretons are unlikely to be targeting anything substantial from this visit to the capital with survival points to be found in other upcoming fixtures such as AS Saint-Etienne and FC Metz at home.
PSG’s penchant for capitulations in the Champions League is well-documented, and it would be some story if Mauricio Pochettino’s under-performing side were to lose their grip on the Ligue 1 title now, but stranger things have happened in football.
With the ill Lionel Messi helplessly watching on, PSG were outgunned, outfought and outclassed by Monaco at the Stade Louis II, as Wissam Ben Yedder’s deft near-post flick and penalty came either side of Kevin Volland’s finish in gameweek 29.
While Pochettino’s side still boast an unassailable 12-point lead at the top of the pile, the gap to the summit could be cut to single figures if second-placed Marseille overcome Saint-Etienne on Saturday, and PSG may just start to look nervously over their shoulder should this mixed bag of results continue.
Bottling the Ligue 1 title would be a whole new level of embarrassment for PSG and Pochettino, but home is truly where the heart is for Les Parisiens as far as domestic fortunes are concerned, with the league leaders taking 40 points from a possible 42 at the Parc des Princes this term.
When Sunday rolls around, it will be a year to the day that PSG’s most recent Ligue 1 home defeat befell them – a 1-0 loss to Lille – and the hosts will certainly feel optimistic about their chances of a seventh clean sheet from eight at the Parc des Princes to reignite their silverware pursuit.
Had it not been for the heroics of Matthieu Dreyer as Lorient’s last line of defence, Les Merlus could have ended up on the wrong end of the scoreline against top-five hopefuls Strasbourg, but Christophe Pelissier’s side displayed a sense of defensive resilience that has come to the fore quite often in recent weeks.
Dreyer had to be alert to claw away Jean-Ricner Bellegarde’s deflected close-range effort, which took a nick off Leo Petrot on its way to Dreyer’s outstretched hand, and Strasbourg number one Matz Sels unconventionally kept out Armand Lauriente’s powerful free kick in a goalless stalemate.
Keeping five clean sheets from seven Ligue 1 matches since the beginning of February has seen Lorient slowly clamber away from the dreaded dotted line, with Les Merlus entering gameweek 30 16th in the standings and five points clear of the automatic relegation places.
A resurgent Saint-Etienne could leapfrog Lorient with victory over Marseille on Saturday, but Pelissier’s side have impressively won two and drawn one of their last three away from home – keeping three clean sheets to boot – and will need their newfound solidity to be on full show if they are to travel back from the capital with something to show for it.
Furthermore, Lorient have managed to avoid defeat in their last two meetings with PSG – drawing 1-1 at home in December after a 3-2 win at the Moustoir last term – but Les Parisiens have strung together a five-game winning streak in this fixture on home soil.
After a brief hiatus, Ligue 1 is set to get back underway this weekend, with league leaders Paris Saint-Germain resuming their campaign on Sunday as they welcome Lorient at Parc des Princes.
It is a must-win encounter for Mauricio Pochettino’s men coming on the back of an embarrassing 3-0 loss to AS Monaco, just before the international break. The Parisian juggernaut have been quite underwhelming since the turn of the year, struggling to produce consistent performances in the league while being knocked out of all cup competitions.
It has put pressure on the players and the managers, with Pochettino more than likely to be sacked come the end of the season. There are question marks over the future of Lionel Messi and Neymar as well, with both South American stars facing fierce criticism even from their own sets of supporters.
Nevertheless, with a resounding lead at the top, PSG remain the firm favourites to secure the Ligue 1 title. But it will be a challenge for them to get past a Lorient side that managed to hold them to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture.
Although Les Merlus are currently embroiled in a relegation battle, they have appeared sturdy in recent games. They have collected seven points from the last four matches and will be eyeing another resilient performance against the table-toppers this weekend.
Pochettino will have to deal with a few absentees heading into this game. Marco Verratti could be missing out due to a slight niggle. The same can be said for Abdou Diallo, who had picked up a slight knock during the international break. Keylor Navas is another doubt due to his knee issue.
On a bright note, Sergio Ramos is hoping to return to the squad after recovering his fitness during the break. Although we don’t expect the veteran to start, he could play a key role in the second half. Juan Bernat and Colin Dagba are also available, though neither are expected to start against Lorient.
Gianluigi Donnarumma has been under fire for his performances in recent weeks. But with Navas struggling from a knee issue, the Italian remains a favourite to start. Elsewhere in defence, Nuno Mendes could get the nod ahead of Bernat, whereas Presnel Kimpembe and Marquinhos should continue to form the central defensive pairing.
Moving into midfield, Verratti’s absence should pave the way for Gini Wijnaldum to earn a rare start. Leandro Paredes and Idrissa Gueye are the two other players likely to start, although Danilo could be preferred in the number six slot.
In the attack, the likes of Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are all coming back from the international break but remain favourites to spearhead the attack for PSG, as the game will be played on Sunday.