Reigning Ligue 1 holders Paris Saint-Germain resume league duties after a fortnight against resurgent Reims at the Parc des Princes on Sunday night.
Christophe Galtier’s men have tucked them in a false sense of security following an outrageous 16-game top-flight start (W14, D2), letting complacency get the better of them at the beginning of 2023.
Following an embarrassing 3-1 defeat away to surprise package Lens at the turn of the year, PSG bounced back with a routine 2-0 home win over dead-last Angers, only to lose 1-0 at Rennes last time out.
And in the blink of an eye, what not long ago seemed like an unattainable lead over second-placed Lens has been trimmed down to a mere three points.
Les Parisiens replied to their sub-par performance at Rozahon Park with an overwhelming 7-0 Coupe de France triumph at lower-league outfit Pays de Cessel, inspired by Kylian Mbappe’s quintet of goals.
Since both PSG’s top-flight slip-ups this season have come at the hands of sides starting the matchday in the top five, the visit of bottom-half Reims should be a lighter task on paper.
However, given the visitors’ outstanding six-match unbeaten run in all competitions since club football’s resumption in December (W4, D2), that may not necessarily be the case.
The 30-year-old manager, William Still, has turned Les Rouges et Blancs into a formidable force since being handed interim charge in October, guiding his side to an impressive streak of 11 unbeaten league games (W4, D7).
Taking points away from the Parc des Princes has been an impossible task in recent years, with PSG going into this matchday undefeated in their last 31 home league outings (W27, D4).
Keen to avoid back-to-back Ligue 1 defeats for the first time since September 2020, Les Parisiens can draw confidence from having outscored Reims in eight of their last nine top-flight H2Hs at home.
But Galtier’s men may have to cope with a dressing room rift after Mbappe was made vice-captain, though based on his 13-goal league tally this term, the Frenchman’s rise in the pecking order isn’t without reason.
In addition to leading his side to their longest undefeated Ligue 1 streak since 2019 (13), Still has developed Reims into a water-tight defensive unit.
The visitors have kept four consecutive clean sheets across all competitions ahead of this trip and are looking to maintain their resilience at one of the most hostile venues in European football.
Scoring could be an issue, though, with Reims netting a miserable average of 0.6 goals per game across their last five away league fixtures (W1, D4).
Paris Saint-Germain vs Reims Potential Line-ups
Paris Saint-Germain (4-3-3): Gianluigi Donnarumma; Achraf Hakimi, Marquinhos, Sergio Ramos, Nuno Mendes; Vitinha, Marco Verratti, Fabian Ruiz; Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar.
Reims (4-2-3-1): Yehvann Diouf; Thomas Foket, Emmanuel Agbadou, Yunis Abdelhamid, Maxime Busi; Marshall Munetsi, Azor Matusiwa; Junya Ito, Arber Zeneli, Alexis Flips; Florian Balogun.
How to Watch?
PSG vs Reims, coupled with all other Ligue 1 fixtures, is available to watch online via Ligue 1 live streams.
Paris Saint-Germain vs Reims Prediction
Reims’ well-drilled rearguard will try to frustrate the formidable ‘MSN’ trident, yet they’ll need to play out of their skins to leave Paris unbeaten.
We can envisage PSG’s multi-goal margin win, especially following their underwhelming showing at Rennes last time out.
Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 Reims
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