PSG Key Player
In the absence of Edinson Cavani and especially Brazilian superstar Neymar, all eyes will be upon Kylian Mbappe as PSG attempt to fulfil their European ambitions.
He’ll almost certainly take centre stage with back-up centre-forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting simply not cutting the mustard, though there’s no doubt the 20-year-old is up to the task.
He’s played through the middle on plenty of occasions for the visitors and scores nearly as frequently as he does when stationed in his customary role on the right-hand side.
In fact, he’s bagged 13 goals in 18 appearances down the middle this term across all competitions, compared with eight in nine from the wide areas, and is actually PSG’s top scorer this term.
PSG’s star studied front three inevitably draw the attention, but defensive midfield is an area they’ve woefully neglected in their recent transfer dealings.
Blaise Matuidi departed for Juventus at the start of last season while Adrien Rabiot has found himself training with the reserves after failing to sign a new contract. Meanwhile, key midfielder Marco Verratti has only just returned from injury and cannot be expected to perform to his best here or indeed last the 90 minutes.
His absence is always felt, with PSG’s three defeats across all competitions this term coming when he’s been missing from action. Centre-back Marquinhos is the alternative and featured in midfield in each of those losses, but an unfit Marco Verratti could be given a torrid time chasing the athletic Paul Pogba.
How do PSG fare without Neymar?
Although PSG dominate domestically, their win percentage in the absence of Neymar since the Brazilian signed for the club still takes a massive hit when looking at Ligue 1 fixtures.
In fact, they’ve won 30 of 33 where he’s started compared to just 18 of 27 when he hasn’t, while it isn’t just a case of dropping two points by picking up draws, with their one defeat in 33 matches he’s started comparing favourably to the three in 27 without him.
He’s only missed one Champions League encounter for the Parisians, a 2-1 defeat hosting Real Madrid last term, and that should worry them given they’re far better on home soil anyway.
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