Mauricio Pochettino will look to keep pace with Ligue 1 front-runners Lille when PSG play host to Nice on Saturday at 4pm (UK time).
After a jittery start under predecessor Thomas Tuchel, Pochettino has got PSG playing with a swagger and authority in the French top flight again, but the Parisians remain in third, something the Argentine will look to rectify in the coming months.
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Where to watch PSG vs Nice on TV:
- UK: BT Sport ESPN
- US: Fanatiz
Scoreline prediction: PSG 3-1 Nice
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PSG vs Nice build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
The Parisians booked their ticket in the next round of the Coupe de France after seeing off Caen in midweek, but the triumph came at a price as Neymar hobbled off in agony, raising major concerns ahead of their Champions League clash with Barcelona next week.
Before Pochettino can even contemplate drawing up his match plan for the Camp Nou showdown, though, he must first navigate a testing fixture against Nice, who are hovering precariously in mid table, neither in danger of relegation trouble, or close enough for a European push.
- PSG (vs Caen): Rico; Florenzi, Kehrer, Diallo, Bakker; Paredes, Pereira, Neymar*, Sarabia, Draxler; Kean.
- Nice (vs Nimes): Benitez; Pelmard, Bambu, Saliba, Nsoki; Trouillet, Schneiderlin, Lees-Melou, Lopes; Ndoye, Gouiri.
As mentioned, Neymar hobbled off injured in the French Cup win over Caen and is now, not only a major doubt for this weekend’s game, but also for the return of Champions League football next week, where PSG take on Barcelona. He joins Angel Di Maria on the sidelines after he injured his knee in the Marseille win at the weekend, with Pochettino already confirming his compatriot will miss the Barca tie.
In more positive news Mauro Icardi and Marco Verratti are expected to shake off knocks to feature against Nice, but Juan Bernat remains a long-term absentee. For the visitors, Jeff Reine-Adelaide recently suffered another ACL injury and faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
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Players to watch:
- PSG: With Di Maria and Neymar both sidelined for this fixture, Pochettino will be turning to Kylian Mbappe for final third inspiration. The French speedster was initially kept on ice in midweek, but replaced Neymar for the final half hour against Caen after the Brazilian’s injury. The World Cup winner has registered the most touches of any player in the opposition box in Ligue 1 across each of the last four campaigns (232 in 2017/18, 239 in 2018/19, 209 in 2019/20 and 184 this season), while he is the only player with more than 500 touches in the opposition box during that period (864), illustrating just how menacing he truly is in the final third for PSG.
- Nice: Amine Gouiri was tipped for superstardom when he was coming through the ranks at Lyon, and now the 20-year-old is really starting to realise his potential alongside the French Riviera for Nice. The France U21 international joined Les Aiglons in the summer and has proven a very astute acquisition for the club. Gouiri is the first player born after 1 January, 2000 to be involved in at least 10 goals in a single Ligue 1 season (seven goals, three assists). In fact, only PSG’s Moise Kean (nine) has scored more goals in the top-flight 2020/21 among U21 players than Gouiri.
Ligue 1 2020/21 recent form:
- PSG: WWLWW
- Nice: WLLWL
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