Paris Saint-Germain will be looking to extend their lead at the top of the Ligue 1 table when they host Montpellier on Saturday at 8pm (UK time).
Mauricio Pochettino’s men are currently seven points clear at the top of the league and could extend that lead at least temporarily with Marseille not playing until Sunday.
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PSG vs Montpellier build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Although they only finished a point behind Lille last season, PSG’s failure to win the league title was seen by many as a failure. But they have made a good start in trying to right that wrong.
PSG are one of just two teams across Europe’s top five leagues to still be perfect, alongside Napoli, but Pochettino’s men has lasted seven games so far compared to the Italian’s five. It hasn’t exactly been plain sailing for PSG, with three of their seven games finishing 2-1 and the past two, against Metz and Lyon, requiring injury-time winners.
Montpellier will be looking to become the latest team to cause PSG problems, without suffering the late defeats, but they have not had the best start to the campaign. The visitors currently sit 11th with two wins, three draws and two defeats from their opening seven matches – though only PSG have scored more goals than them.
- PSG (vs Metz): Navas; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Mendes; Rafinha, Pereira, Wijnaldum; Neymar; Icardi, Mbappe.
- Montpellier (vs Bordeaux): Omlin; Souquet, Cozza, Esteve, Ristic; Ferri, Leroy; Mollet, Savanier, Mavididi; Germain.
Sergio Ramos and Lionel Messi are unavailable for PSG as is Marco Verratti.
Hakimi: Chelsea’s loss is PSG’s gain
Having failed to win the title last season, PSG went all in on the transfers over the summer, looking to ensure they reclaimed their crown this time around. The likes of Georginio Wijnaldum, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Lionel Messi have all been signed, but the new arrival to have made the best start at PSG is undoubtedly Achraf Hakimi.
The Moroccan international, who lit up Serie A last season with Inter Milan en route to winning the title, was subject to interest from a number of clubs including Chelsea – who did make an offer.
But Hakimi turned down the Blues for life in Paris and has started the new season in excellent fashion, recording two assists and scoring three goals including a brace in the 2-1 win over Metz in midweek.
Achraf Hakimi's game by numbers vs. Metz:
78% pass accuracy
8 final third passes attempted
6 final third passes completed
3 ball recoveries
3 shots on goal (most)
2 shots on target (most)
And two goals, including a 95th minute winner. 😍 pic.twitter.com/68AE5eOjtQ
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 22, 2021
“I had two offers, one from Chelsea and one from Paris Saint-Germain,” Hakimi said.
“But I felt I had to come to Paris, that I would have been happy there. PSG is a great club, I really appreciate the support the fans gave me straight away.
“I was lucky because so many other champions joined me. I feel good at PSG, we have a dream team and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
As mentioned, Hakimi was accompanied by Messi in joining PSG, and the right-back is planning to use his time in France as an opportunity to learn from one of the best players in history.
“For Messi to leave Barca, like everyone else, I didn’t expect it,” he added. “And when I heard you were coming here, what can I say? A dream for me!
“I played with many great players and the only one I missed was Messi! I am proud to evolve with such a good footballer.
“To progress, I will pay attention to how he trains, how he plays. It will grow the team and each of the players that make it up. We speak the same language, in addition, little by little we are getting to know each other.”
Scoreline prediction: PSG 2-0 Montpellier
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