Preview: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Nantes – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Trophee des Champions clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Nantes, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The first trophy of the French football season is up for grabs on Sunday as well Paris Saint-Germain take on Nantes in the Trophee des Champions at the Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv.

Les Parisiens stormed to the Ligue 1 title in the 2021-22 season, but Nantes marked their meteoric rise from the doldrums with glory in the Coupe de France.

Match preview

Christophe Galtier in charge of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on July 20, 2022© Reuters

Not even a Ligue 1 title could save Mauricio Pochettino‘s bacon at the Parc des Princes, despite ending Lille’s short-lived reign of dominance at the top of the French game, the Argentine was given his marching orders by the trigger-happy board.

After failing in their efforts to bring Zinedine Zidane to the club, PSG elected to hire the man who pipped them to the 2020-21 Ligue 1 title with Lille, and Christophe Galtier‘s impact in the hotseat has been immediately felt.

Les Parisiens undertook their pre-season tour in Japan and posted three consecutive victories against Kawasaki Frontale, Urawa Red Diamonds and Gamba Osaka, as well as a straightforward 2-0 training ground victory over Quevilly-Rouen.

Former Nice and Saint-Etienne head coach Galtier has been experimenting with a 3-4-1-2 setup in pre-season in a bid to finally end PSG’s spate of humiliating Champions League exits, and the star-studded attack of Les Parisiens have enjoyed the new system so far with 13 goals in four pre-season games.

Nordi Mukiele, Hugo Ekitike and Vitinha‘s arrivals mean that new football advisor Luis Campos is already planning for the future, and winning an eighth Trophee des Champions since 2013 would be an ideal way for Galtier to kick-start his PSG career.

Nantes coach Antoine Kombouare reacts on March 2, 2022© Reuters

Nantes head coach Antoine Kombouare has already been there and done it all before in the PSG dugout, but the former Parisiens boss is currently making waves with Nantes, who added the 2021-22 Coupe de France to their trophy collection last term.

After PSG’s defense of the crown was ended by Nice, Nantes managed to get the better of the Galtier-led Aiglons in the final, with a 47th-minute Ludovic Blas penalty enough to propel Les Canaris to victory at the Stade de France.

At the end of the 2020-21 season, Nantes were forced to salvage their Ligue 1 status in the promotion/relegation playoffs, but last term, Kombouare steadied the ship and led his outfit to a ninth-placed finish in the top flight, while their Coupe de France crown also earned them a place in the Europa League.

A mixed bag of pre-season results has seen Nantes lose to Guingamp and Rennes while beating Caen and Lorient, and Les Canaris only have two Trophee des Champions successes to their name, winning the 1999 and 2001 editions.

Furthermore, Nantes have proven to be a bogey team for PSG in recent times, as Les Canaris have won two of their last three Ligue 1 clashes with the reigning champions, but Galtier will be out for a slice of personal revenge after Kombouare got one over him in the Coupe de France last year.

Paris Saint-Germain pre-season form:

Nantes pre-season form:

Team News

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi pictured with Kylian Mbappe on May 21, 2022© Reuters

The big story from the PSG camp for the Coupe de France is undeniably the suspension of Kylian Mbappe, who will serve a one-game ban for an accumulation of bookings at the end of last season. Hugo Ekitike has also been left out of the squad, so Mauro Icardi may very well be given the chance to lead the line alongside Neymar.

Galtier is not reported to be working with any injury concerns for Sunday’s Super Cup clash, and a three-man defense should consist of Presnel Kimpembe, Marquinhos and Sergio Ramoswith Achraf Hakim also keeping Mukiele out of the side for now.

Vitinha has already cemented his place in the PSG midfield, where he should be joined by Marco Verratti amid speculation surrounding Idrissa Gueye, Georginio Wijnaldum and Leandro Paredes‘s futures.

Meanwhile, Nantes are still waiting for a left-back Charles Traore to recover from his ACL rupture, and Les Canaris were inevitably forced to wave goodbye to Randal Kolo Muaniwho joined Eintracht Frankfurt on a free transfer.

In response, Kombouare has brought in Mostafa Mohamed and Evann Guessand on loan from Galatasaray and Nice respectively, while Moussa Sissoko is also back in his homeland after leaving Watford for a £1.8m fee.

Highly-rated goalkeeper Alban Lafont is still on the books and will start here, while Traore’s injury means more opportunities for the 20-year-old Quentin Merlin on the left-hand side.

Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Kimpembe, Ramos, Marquinhos; Hakimi, Verratti, Vitinha, Mendes; Messi; Icardi, Neymar

Nantes possible starting lineup:
Lafont; Castelletto, Pallois, Girotto; Corchia, Sissoko, Moutousammy, Merlin; Blas, Simon; Mohammed

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We say: Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Nantes

Losing such an influential attacking outlet in Kolo Muani is a bitter blow for Nantes, but similarly, PSG will have to find a way to stomp their attacking authority without Mbappe in the fold.

Kombouare’s side have demonstrated some impressive defensive resilience in pre-season, but Galtier’s new-look side still possess the creative nous to break through and get their hands on the Trophee des Champions for the 11th time.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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