Paris Saint-Germain welcomes Clermont to the Parc des Princes for Saturday’s finale in an effort to properly celebrate their Ligue 1 championship and cap off another tumultuous season.
In a 1-1 draw with Strasbourg last Saturday, Christophe Galtier’s club secured their 11th top-flight title, while the visitors are assured of a top-half finish in a season that has beyond all expectations.
Even though Christophe Galtier played a key role in Paris Saint-Germain winning the Ligue 1 championship this year, he still faces a fight for his job as the season comes to a close. Despite rumors that he could be fired this summer, the under-fire manager said in public that he “deserves a second season” after a sluggish 1-1 draw with Strasbourg last weekend gave his team the top place ahead of Lens.
Galtier’s future has been the subject of rising speculation for a while now. Detractors have been upset with the Parisians’ UEFA Champions League last 16 exit as well as some subpar domestic performances. Lionel Messi, who will want to end his PSG career with a bang in his final match, is one player who will undoubtedly leave the Parc des Princes this summer. It would be a great surprise if his team couldn’t deliver the goods to give Messi the send off he deserves, but they have been inconsistent at home this season and have lost three of their past five games here.
The Parisians are unbeaten in four games and will be attempting to continue this trend against the visiting Clermont, who has dropped the last three league head to head meetings after giving up at least four goals in each one. However, the Lancers should be in a good mood going into Paris after a 2-0 win over Lorient last weekend gave them their first ever top half finish in Ligue 1.
This weekend’s visitors to the capital will bring an end to the most successful season in the Lanciers’ 112 years history. Whatever Clermont manager Pascal Gastien and his nutritional team have been feeding the Lanciers players since the beginning of April has gone down a treat.
Clermont was one of the most unexpected success stories of the current season, cementing themselves as a top half outfit thanks to a magnificent springtime spell. Clermont made their top flight debut last year and managed to stay up by the skin of their teeth in 17th place a ranking that would have demoted them this time around.
Pascal Gastien has been nominated for the Manager of the Year award in France as a result of such an exceptional season, and he has acknowledged that it has been one to “savour” and is “proud of the work accomplished.” The coach will now be seeking to end this campaign on a strong note as Clermont looks to build on an incredible finish that has seen them record seven victories in nine games (D1, L1).
In PSG’s last seven Ligue 1 games, Kylian Mbappé has scored nine goals, with seven of those goals coming before halftime. He will be attempting to outscore Saîf-Eddine Khaoui of Clermont, who has failed to score in six straight head-to-heads despite having scored against Lorient the last time around.
This week, it’s likely that thoughts of PSG’s backup goalkeeper Sergio Rico will be kept to a minimum because the Spaniard continues to be in intensive care with a “serious” brain injury from a horseback riding accident.
Neymar (ankle), Nordi Mukiele (hamstring), Nuno Mendes (thigh), and Presnel Kimpembe (Achilles) will also be missing for Galtier, and Fabian Ruiz is still being treated for an adductor issue that also prevented Marquinhos from participating in their title-winning draw last weekend.
Hugo Ekitike’s tight hamstring and Marquinhos’ ability to recover from their issues in time for Saturday’s game are both unknowns, but Achraf Hakimi has returned from his suspension and ought to push Warren Zaire-Emery to the sidelines.
Contrarily, Gastien’s team has no reported injuries for their final game of the season, thus Clermont’s medical staff may immediately kick back.
Mory Diaw, a goalkeeper for Clermont, started the attack that resulted in Khaoui’s opening goal right after saving a penalty for the fourth time this year by stopping Ibrahima Kone from 12 yards last weekend. The 29 years old will face his former club here after spending eight years in the PSG academy between 2007 and 2015.
PSG currently appears well equipped to face any opponent after picking up 7 points from their last 3 games. They defeated AC Ajaccio and Auxerre by scores of 5-0 and 1-2, respectively. With Strasbourg earning a point in a 1-1 draw, their winning streak was ended. PSG has three wins, zero draws, and three losses in their previous six Ligue 1 home games. They scored 13 goals while giving up nine.
Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup
Donnarumma, Pereira, Ramos, Bitshiabu, Hakimi, Vitinha, Verratti, Bernat, Messi, Ekitike and Mbappe.
In their previous three games, Clermont Foot defeated Lyon 2-1, fell to Brest 2-1, and defeated Lorient 2-0. The Lancers have three victories, one tie, and two losses in their previous six road games in Ligue 1. They made eight goals while also giving up six. Additionally, they suffered two losses and one draw.
Clermont possible starting lineup
Diaw, Wieteska, Caufriez, Seidu, Zeffane, Gastien, Gonalons, Borges, Khaoui, Maurer and Kyei.
We Predict: Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 Clermont
The title winning hosts have a great deal of respect for Clermont, but Gastien’s team really only has dignity to play for, and their recent road failures won’t do them any favors.
The champions should fight out a professional victory to give their departing contingent the ideal send-off in what is likely to be Galtier, Messi, and other players’ final game on the Parc des Princes field.