Paris Saint-Germain will be looking to continue their perfect start to the new Ligue 1 season when they travel to Metz on Wednesday at 8pm (UK time).
Mauricio Pochettino’s men have already built a five-point lead at the top of the table, while Metz are stuck at the bottom.
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Where to watch Metz vs PSG on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 2
- US: beIN Sports
Scoreline prediction: Metz 0-3 PSG
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Metz vs PSG build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Metz looked fairly comfortable in their 10th-placed finish in Ligue 1 last season but in reality they were just seven points ahead of the relegation play-off spot. Their plans to improve on that haven’t gone well, however, and after six games Metz are currently bottom of the league on goal difference as one of three teams yet to taste victory. Metz actually started the season with an impressive 3-3 draw against defending champions Lille, but they followed that up by losing 2-0 to Nantes. Two more draws game before the international break, this time against Reims and Clermont but once again they were followed by defeats – with Troyes and Strasbourg piling the misery onto Metz.
PSG’s failure to win Ligue 1 last season was seen as a disaster, as the capital club have been dominated French football for quite some time. But they have already put in firmly behind them and it looks like the chasing pack will have a tough task trying to stop PSG winning the league this season. Having played just six games so far, PSG are already five points clear of rivals Marseille at the top of the table, as the only club in the division to have a perfect record. Troyes, Strasbourg, Brest, Reims, Clermont Foot and Lyon have all tried and failed to take points off PSG in the league, with Club Brugge (in the Champions League) the only team to stop them so far this season.
- Metz (vs Strasbourg): Oukidja; Udol, Kouyate, Bronn; Centonze, Pajot, Maiga, Vade; Sarr, De Preville; Niane.
- PSG (vs Lyon): Donnarumma; Kehrer, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Mendes; Gueye, Herrera; Di Maria, Messi*, Neymar; Mbappe.
Metz remain without Manuel Cabit, Farid Boulaya, Kevin N’Doram and Opa Nguette. Lionel Messi is out for PSG after suffering an injury in the win over Lyon, joining the likes of Sergio Ramos, Juan Bernat and Colin Dagba on the sidelines. Gianluigi Donnarumma is also a doubt.
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Pochettino: Wijnaldum needs time
In response to their Ligue 1 title failure last season, PSG had a busy summer bolstering their squad with star mans. Messi, Donnarumma and Ramos were joined by Achraf Hakimi and Georginio Wijnaldum and while they have all had varying starts, the latter has come under a lot more criticism than the rest.
The former Liverpool man was a target of Barcelona in the summer but opted to move to Paris after his contract at Anfield ran out. So far, he has struggled to replicate his Liverpool form and only made a four-minute cameo in the 2-1 win over Lyon at the weekend, having sat out of the 4-0 win over Clermont Foot the week before.
However, Pochettino isn’t worried about the slow start, insisting Wijnaldum only needs time to settle in France both on the pitch and behind the scenes with his family.
“Gini also arrived in the team with a lack of preparation,” Pochettino told reporters.
“He needs time too. Then, there is an important thing to know: any transfer corresponds to a new sporting situation but also family, human, and this impacts any player arriving at the club especially without the pre-season preparation period.
“Indeed, the latter is not only used to work on the automatisms, the physique, and the tactics of a player, it is also used to allow the installation of the family.
“So when the players come in late, when they have to be competitive, when they have to get to know each other when they have to train when their families have to find a home, a school for the children.
“There are so many parameters that come into account – and I’m not saying this is an excuse – that you have to be very patient, very understanding.
“This adaptation time is necessary for the club, teammates, and families. As long as his family is not settled in his new life, it is difficult for a player to have the peace of mind to show all his qualities.
“We know that Wijnaldum can do a lot of different things for us in the game.”
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