Paris Saint-Germain will endeavour to maintain or extend their lead at the top of the Ligue 1 table when an out-of-sorts Nice side pay a visit to the Parc des Princes on Saturday night.
Before the international break, Christophe Galtier’s side secured a 1-0 win over Lyon, while Les Aiglons fell to defeat by the same scoreline against Angers.
Unsurprisingly greeted by a hostile atmosphere at Lyon’s Groupama Stadium, PSG took all of five minutes to silence the home crowd, as two of their famed front three in Neymar and Lionel Messi combined for the latter to fire home the opener early doors.
The Argentine did not even need to take a touch before curling home into the bottom corner, but Galtier was thanking his lucky stars after seeing Alexandre Lacazette spurn a magnificent chance to level for his side, heading wide from only a few yards out.
The rampant champions stood firm to hold on for their sixth win on the bounce in all competitions – and fourth in a row in Ligue 1 – which allowed them to open up a two-point gap over Marseille at the top of the standings after Les Olympiens could only draw 1-1 with Rennes.
PSG could be dethroned by the time Saturday rolls around if Marseille can return to winning ways against Angers on Friday night, but the Parisiens faithful will expect to see their side quickly return to the summit at the Parc des Princes fortress.
Since going down 1-0 to Lille in Les Dogues’ title-winning 2020-21 season – with Galtier in charge of the opposition back then – PSG have strung together a 25-game unbeaten streak at home in Ligue 1, and the hosting manager’s former club Nice are a team in disarray.
Ex-PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino could have supposedly been coming up against the team that sacked him this weekend, as Nice were tipped to move for the Argentine over the international break after Lucien Favre’s dream return slowly transitioned into a nightmare.
Favre – who replaced Galtier in the summer – was eventually given a vote of confidence by the Aiglons board and will remain in charge for the time being, but he was powerless to prevent his side from falling to a 1-0 defeat to Angers last weekend.
After Jean-Clair Todibo saw red with only nine seconds on the clock, the 10 men of Nice succumbed to a Nabil Bentaleb winner on the stroke of half time, while they also failed to win either of their opening Europa Conference League clashes with Koln and Partizan before the international period.
Favre’s side travel to the home of the champions languishing in 13th place in the table and will certainly aim to make a statement after Galtier’s acrimonious summer departure, which should not be ruled out given that both of their league wins this term have come on the road.
Furthermore, PSG are winless in their last three encounters with Nice in all competitions – their Coupe de France defence was ended by Les Aiglons on penalties last term – while they failed to score in either meeting with that Galtier-led team in the 2021-22 top flight.
Paris Saint-Germain Ligue 1 form:
Paris Saint-Germain form (all competitions):
Nice Ligue 1 form:
Nice form (all competitions):
We say: Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Nice
PSG may be without a couple of first-team regulars in Kimpembe and Verratti, but with all due respect to Nice, breaking down a backline comprising 38-year-old Dante and 20-year-old newcomer Viti should not be a problem for Messi and co.
Nice have been able to keep things tight in defence throughout the season, but a lack of attacking ingenuity should be their downfall once again, as Galtier gets the last laugh over his former club.