Seeking to avoid a third game without success in Ligue 1, runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain welcome Monaco to the Parc des Princes for Sunday’s battle.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men remain 11 points clear atop the rankings after 17 games, while Les Monegasques are six places and 16 points worse off than the capital outfit.
Gianluigi Donnarumma may have just gained a vital edge in the PSG goalkeeping battle, with Keylor Navas producing a string of fine saves against Lens before letting Seko Fofana’s speculative effort slip through his grasp last weekend.
It took until the second minute of second-half injury time for PSG to restore parity thanks to Georginio Wijnaldum, but another stalemate once again raised questions about the tactical nous of Pochettino, whose side responded perfectly to such claims in midweek.
Indeed, braces from Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe saw PSG round off their Champions League Group A campaign with a romping 4-1 victory over Club Brugge, with the latter becoming the youngest player in Champions League history to hit 30 goals in the competition.
However, two consecutive stalemates in Ligue 1 have seen PSG’s lead at the top cut to 11 points over second-placed Rennes – while Marseille are 13 behind with a game in hand – but the league leaders welcome Monaco to their headquarters on an eight-game unbeaten streak in Ligue 1.
The 0-0 draw with Nice on December 1 did end a 10-game winning run at home in Ligue 1 for Les Parisiens, but a fatigued Monaco outfit are not exactly a force to be reckoned with on the road, continentally or domestically.
Monaco did not join PSG in midweek Champions League action following their early departure from Europe’s top table in the summer, but their first-placed position in Europa League Group B was already secured before their journey to Sturm Graz.
Niko Kovac understandably shuffled the pack for the contest, but Monaco would have still felt disappointed not to come away with all three points, as Kevin Volland cancelled out Jakob Jantscher’s penalty in a 1-1 stalemate.
However, things finally appear to be heading in the right direction for Les Monegasques in Ligue 1, as they travel to the Parc des Princes on the back of consecutive wins over Angers and Metz – scoring seven goals and conceding just one in the process.
Now unbeaten in eight matches across all competitions, Monaco are slowly pulling themselves back into European contention as they sit seventh in the Ligue 1 table – just three points adrift of third-placed Marseille – but inconsistency has plagued them away from home.
Indeed, Kovac’s men have won just three of their eight Ligue 1 away matches so far this term, but they did do the double over PSG in Ligue 1 last term before going down 2-0 to Pochettino’s side in May’s Coupe de France final.
Paris Saint-Germain Ligue 1 form:
Paris Saint-Germain form (all competitions):
Monaco Ligue 1 form:
Monaco form (all competitions):
We say: Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Monaco
PSG are struggling to convince the critics that they truly are a different beast this term, but Monaco have also had their own fair share of struggles this season, particularly away from home.
Pochettino will boast the fresher crop of players – despite Kovac’s best efforts to give his big-hitters ample time to recover from Thursday’s travails – and a near full-strength PSG side playing at their headquarters ought to pull through by a narrow margin.