Paris Saint-Germain will aim to continue along the winning track on Sunday evening as they travel to Champions League-chasing Rennes in Ligue 1.
The side from the capital has had a rocky resumption to the campaign so far, winning twice in the league but falling to a 3-1 defeat to surprise package Lens on New Year’s Day. Since then, however, Christophe Galtier’s side has returned to normality, securing a place in the last 32 of the Coupe de France and bouncing back for a 2-0 Ligue 1 victory over Angers last time out.
Now sitting six points clear at the summit, the Parisians travel to a Rennes side aiming to put their own rocky form behind them and get a footing in a tight race for Champions League qualification.
Here’s what you need to know about the tie.
Rennes team news
After a double sending off in Rennes’ defeat to Clermont last time out, Benjamin Bourigeaud and Warmed Omari will be unavailable for the hosts.
Meanwhile, injury will see Xeka, Baptiste Santamaria and the highly-rated, ACL-stricken Martin Terrier sit out, with former-PSG man Arnaud Kalimuendo likely to deputise in the latter’s place.
(4-3-3): Mandanda; Traore, Wooh, Theate, Truffert; Majer, Ugochukwu, Tait; Doku, Kalimuendo, Gouiri
PSG team news
The 2022/23 season is back in full swing, so none of those glittering PSG names will be nursing World Cup hangovers anymore. Lionel Messi made his return in the win over Angers and is expected to remain in the lineup.
There should also be returns for Kylian Mbappe and Achraf Hakimi this weekend, neither of whom featured last time out, while Renato Sanches should be fit enough to come back to action at the weekend.
Elsewhere, however, Marco Verratti will require further assessment prior to the game due to a thigh issue, while Presnel Kimpembe and Nuno Mendes will continue their recovery programmes.
(4-3-1-2): Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Ramos, Bernat; Vitinha, Danilo, Ruiz; Messi; Mbappe, Neymar
Having faltered against one of Ligue 1’s top teams already since the return to domestic action, PSG should be weary of heading to a notoriously difficult Roazhon Park to face a strong Rennes side.
A number of factors, however, point to a visiting victory this Sunday. With Galtier’s star men coming back together and getting re-accustomed to each other on the back of an important league win last time out – not to mention a double suspension and the absence of top-marksman Terrier for the hosts – you’d be brave to bet against Les Parisiens.
Prediction: Rennes 1-3 PSG