PSG vs Strasbourg match tips, PSG getting acquisition of Lionel Messi, Paris Saint-Germain must return to the bare essential of winning football matches when they face Strasbourg at the Parc des Princes on Saturday.
It might end up being too soon for the new Parisian legend to take to the pitch, yet PSG have a lot of different geniuses in their positions to attempt to make it two successes from two as they take on a Strasbourg side currently bottom of Ligue 1.
PSG vs Strasbourg Match preview
Messi is just one of a catalogue of stellar signings made by PSG this summer, as they aim to reclaim the title after what may be seen by their Qatari owners as the ignominy of losing out to a smaller club.
One of those signings made an instant impact in the season-opener – €60m (£50.1m) right-back Achraf Hakimi unleashing a powerful strike to equalise after they had surprisingly fallen behind against Troyes.
Mauro Icardi added a second two minutes later and PSG held on for a 2-1 victory, but there is much more to come from a team waiting for big names such as Neymar to return and for other new ones to settle in.
It is important for manager Mauricio Pochettino to get up and running quickly this campaign, after a relatively disappointing start to his time in Paris.
There may have been some silverware in the shape of the Coupe de France, but missing out to Lille on the final day of the season and losing 4-1 to Manchester City in the Champions League semi-final will not have matched up to the lofty ambitions of those in the boardroom.
Strasbourg meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, are preparing for another season fighting to survive in Ligue 1.
Since returning to the top flight in 2017, Les Coureurs have finished no higher than 10th and a lack of consistency last year saw them finish in 15th, just two points clear of relegation.
There is renewed hope, however, thanks to the appointment of new manager Julien Stephan – the 40-year old joining after an impressive stint at Rennes – and signings such as Kevin Gameiro and Karol Fila.
That hope took a blow on the opening weekend after a 2-0 loss to Angers, the visitors producing a smash-and-grab performance and scoring with two of their three shots on target.
The fans know that those are the kind of games Strasbourg will have to win – or at least avoid defeat in – if they are to have a more comfortable year, and a trip to the Parc des Princes appears less likely to provide their first points of the season.
PSG came away with comprehensive 4-0 and 4-1 victories when the two teams met last season and are unbeaten in their 30 Ligue 1 home games against Strasbourg – a French top-flight record for one team at home against a specific opponent.
Messi said in his press conference that he was “ready to start now”, but the Argentine has only just returned from a break, following his starring role at Copa America, and is yet to complete anything akin to a pre-season.
He may get a token spot on the bench, though, and could well be joined there by his pals Neymar and Angel di Maria – the pair have also enjoyed an extended summer break but should soon be back on the pitch.
Other new recruits Sergio Ramos and Gianluigi Donnarumma remain injury doubts, so the starting XI will remain reasonably familiar for now – likely a 4-2-3-1 with Icardi leading the line, supported by Kylian Mbappe and Julian Draxler.
Striker Lebo Mothiba appears to be Strasbourg’s only injury doubt, so Gameiro – who has returned to La Meinau for a second spell – will likely lead the line.
Stephan’s usual 4-2-3-1 formation will likely end up looking more like a 6-3-1 as the midfield falls deep to defend against such formidable opponents.
Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Navas; Hakimi, Kehrer, Kimpembe, Diallo; Herrera, Danilo, Wijnaldum, Draxler, Mbappe; Icardi
Strasbourg possible starting lineup:
Sels; Caci, Djiku, Sissoko, Fila; Lienard, Bellegarde, Diallo, Thomasson, Waris; Gameiro
PSG vs Strasbourg
Over 2.5 Goals