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Ligue 1: Metz stand in way of PSG third victory

PSG defeated Toulouse 4-0 last weekend. (PHOTOS/Courtesy)

It has not been a rosy start to the season for PSG who have had to deal with the likely departure of star-player Neymar Jr.

Like that has not been enough, Tomas Tuchel’s side have already lost a game in their first three, a scenario which is not usually the case as PSG normally start with a host of victories.

After losing 2-1 away to Rennes, the Parisians bounced back with a resounding 4-0 victory over Toulouse last weekend but it also could not go with a cost as Kylian Mbappe, Edison Cavani and Abdou Diallo all did not finish the game due to respective injuries.

Diallo is understood to have recovered in time for Friday’s game but Mbappe and Cavani are not expected to feature. The duo now joins Neymar, Ander Herrera, Thilo Kehrer, Layvin Kurzawa and Julian Draxler on the sidelines.

The main concern going into the game for Tuchel will be who he starts up front with only Eric Maxim Choupo Moting and Jese fully fit.

In the past, Angel Di Maria has been fielded on the left-side and he will once again be expected to start there, along with Choupo Moting and Pablo Sarabia in a three-man attack.

Never the less, PSG will be expected to somehow grind out all three points against a Metz side that has not picked a single point off them in any of their last 8 meetings. In that period, PSG has scored 27 goals against Metz, more than any other side in the division.

However, the home side will go into the clash full of confidence following a return of four points from their first three games, back in the top flight.

Despite losing 3-0 away to Angers last weekend, Frederic Antonetti’s side have already defeated Monaco by the same score-line and also drawn 1-1 at Strasbourg.

In Mouhamadou Diallo, they have a player very much in form and capable of causing the PSG defence trouble. Diallo has scored three goals in as many games so far this campaign.

There will be two other interesting fixtures in the Ligue 1 this weekend as Lyon host Bordeaux on Saturday, a day before Marseille entertain Saint Etienne at the Velodrome.

Lyon who are still without the injured Fernando Mercal are coming off a disappointing 1-0 loss away to Montpellier.

The loss last weekend ended Lyon’s 100% record start to the season and Sylvinho’s side will be eager to get back to winning ways.

However, they will be worried as they come up against an improving Bordeaux. Paulo Sousa’s side who started the season with a loss, have gone on to draw their second game before securing a 2-0 victory away to Dijon last weekend.

Bordeaux’s major concern ahead of Saturday’s encounter will be the unavailability of midfielder Yacine Adli who limped off last weekend and has been confirmed as an absentee.

On Sunday night, 13th placed Marseille will take on 14th placed Saint Etienne at the Stade Velodrome.

Marseille started the season in poor form, collecting just a point from their first two games but a Dimitri Payet second-half penalty propelled them to victory away to Nice last week and they will be looking to make it two wins in as many games.

For Etienne, they also share a similar record as Marseille, having gathered four points from three games, so far.

Ghislain Printant’s side who finished 4th last season suffered a 3-0 loss at Lille in the midweek fixture, their first loss of the season.

Franck Honorat and Assane Diousse are nursing injuries and with star-forward Wahbi Khazri struggling for form, Etienne may be in for one hell of a long day in Marseille.

The French Ligue 1 Match-Day III fixtures

Friday, 30-08-2019 

-Metz vs PSG @9:45pm

Saturday, 31-08-2019

-Lyon vs Bordeaux @8:45pm

-Angers vs Dijon @9pm

-Toulouse vs Amiens @9pm

-Nantes vs Montpellier @9pm

-Nimes vs Brest @9pm

Sunday, 01-09-2019

-Reims vs Lille  @4pm

-Rennes vs Nice  @4pm

-Strasbourg vs Monaco  @6pm

-Marseille vs Saint Etienne  @10pm

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