PSG vs Monaco – LIVE Reddit Soccer 20/03/2022
PSG’s excellent form under Pochettino has also seen them make an excellent comeback, with the Ligue 1 champions now just in touching distance of their competitors in Olympique Lyon and LOSC Lille, both of who are level with 55 points at the top of the table. Lyon are leading due to a superior goal difference but have played one more game than both PSG and Lille. A win against AS Monaco this weekend, therefore, could go a long way in piling the pressure on the two table toppers. Lyon are already set for a stern test against Marseille – giving PSG an ideal opportunity to regain their lead at the top.
PSG were without their star creators in Neymar and Angel Di Maria during their midweek dash over Barcelona. The duo continues to remain on the sidelines, paving the way for Moise Kean to retain his place in attack alongside Mauro Icardi and star man Kylian Mbappe, although Pochettino does have Pablo Sarabia as a potential alternative. However, Monaco are no slouch, having improved considerably under Niko Kovac this season. They are one of the most in-form teams in the division, with their run of eight consecutive wins in all competitions only halted by a draw with Lorient last weekend.
Flying high in the fourth position, any upset on Sunday could see Les Monegasques bridge the gap to third-placed PSG to just two points – a result that could prove to be critical in the context of this season’s title race. The front three should play a key role in the line of press. It will be a different game compared to the Barcelona one, with PSG expected to dominate the possession and probe the Monaco defence for the most part, rather than playing on the counter. So it will be interesting to see whether Mbappe could be effective once again, especially without Neymar and Di Maria.
In midfield, the return of Marco Verratti from injury has been a boon for the home side. The Italian international has added that pinch of creativity that was missing in the middle of the park. His qualities could once again be needed in the slightly advanced midfield role, while Idrissa Gueye and Leandro Paredes look to continue in the double-pivot. Julian Draxler is another option should Pochettino opt to rest, although that is unlikely as PSG do not have an incoming midweek game. The German, however, is likely to be employed as a substitute along with Ander Herrera as their energy and dynamism could be useful in probing the Monaco backline.
Meanwhile, in the defensive third, Pochettino is likely to persist with the same unit that featured against Barcelona. The central defensive combination of Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe has been solid, to say the least. Youngster Mitchell Bakker might be hoping for a berth at left-back, ahead of Layvin Kurzawa, but he will likely be reserved for the upcoming game against Dijon next weekend.
And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will take a closer look at how these two teams stack ahead of their crucial match-up in Ligue 1 this weekend. Following a slow start to the campaign, Paris Saint-Germain have steadily improved under the leadership of the newly-appointed Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine, in fact, has registered nine wins in just 11 games in all competitions – a run of results crowned by a recent 4-1 triumph over FC Barcelona in midweek.
AS Monaco welcome Paris Saint-Germain to Stade Louis II and the principality this Sunday as Les Monegasques look to get back into the reckoning for Europe. Philippe Clement’s men are six points off the continental places with time running out to position themselves to be in the mix while Mauricio Pochettino’s Parisiens are 15 points clear at the Championnat summit despite their mixed form. With both sides out of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League respectively, this clash has a poorer feel to it than usual: “There has been sadness about what we went through,” said the Argentine in his pre-match press conference. “That is the feeling within the group. Everyone has been affected by this setback. We must continue to be competitive, to score goals and to win the league for a new title.
The sudden sacking of Niko Kovac has seemingly already come back to bite Monaco, with Philippe Clement enduring a woeful run of results domestically and continentally in the past few weeks as Les Monegasques bowed out of the Europa League in the last 16.
After a 2-0 first-leg defeat on Braga’s turf, Monaco went 3-0 down on aggregate after Alexander Nubel allowed Abel Ruiz’s long-range effort to seep through his gloves into the back of the net, and Axel Disasi’s late header could not inspire a magnificent turnaround.
Last week’s 1-0 defeat to European hopefuls Strasbourg in Ligue 1 sees Monaco sitting in eighth place in the table – nine points adrift of the Champions League places and six adrift of the top five – but sporting director Paul Mitchell has publicly backed the under-fire Clement amid his side’s miserable streak.
Les Monegasques have now posted just one win from their last eight matches in all competitions – which was a hard-fought 1-0 success at Marseille to give credit where credit is due – but four defeats from their last six does not set them up well for a meeting with the runaway leaders.
Monaco can be encouraged by the fact that they have only lost one of their last 11 league games at the Stade Louis II – although it was the most recent one to an injury-hit Reims – and for all the attacking talent at Clement’s disposal, he just cannot get his forward line to gel.
Following yet another Champions League capitulation at the hands of Real Madrid, the Ligue 1 title is the only saving grace for Mauricio Pochettino now, and his side at least managed to return to winning ways with a 3-0 success over a hapless Bordeaux in the capital.
Kylian Mbappe, Leandro Paredes and Neymar were all on target at the Parc des Princes, but the latter and Lionel Messi were the targets of boos from the home crowd during the contest, with the PSG fanbase less than impressed with the efforts of their South American stars throughout the season.
Pochettino’s demands for “respect” for Neymar and Messi may fall on deaf ears, but Nice’s failure to overcome Montpellier HSC has allowed Les Parisiens to open up a 15-point gap at the top of the standings as they endeavour to end a miserable streak of form on the road.
Indeed, PSG have suffered three consecutive defeats on rival turf in all competitions following their Bernabeu collapse and have only prevailed in one of their last six away from home in Ligue 1, but Monaco’s frailties are there to be exposed.
Pochettino oversaw a 2-0 win over Monaco at the Parc des Princes back in December – seven months after PSG had won by the same scoreline in the final of the 2020-21 Coupe de France – although their most recent trip to the Stade Louis II ended in a 3-2 loss.