Strasbourg and PSG face off knowing full well they need just a point to secure safety and the league title respectively.

Defending champions PSG will travel to Strasbourg, knowing full well that one point is all they need to secure a record 11th Ligue 1 crown.

Christophe Galtier’s men already have one hand on the title and a point or more on Saturday will make it mathematically impossible for RC Lens to catch them, however unlikely that would have been.

Winning just the league is just an average season for Paris Saint-Gerkain who until the World Cup hiatus was nigh on unbeatable. To say that their standards have fallen off since the new year would be an understatement. Galtier’s job might or might not be safe but he appears likely to lift the title this weekend.

The same cannot be said of Strasbourg who are largely focussed on avoiding relegation. The home side needs just one point from their final two games to guarantee their safety and will want to do so at the weekend in front of their own fans.

Despite both teams having to do the bare minimum to achieve their league objective for the season, they could yet live with a loss should other results elsewhere go their way. In many ways, the clash can be seen as a dead rubber that should either accelerate or delay the inevitable. Having a far superior goal difference certainly is a boost as well.

The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on the night and what tactics they might employ.

Team News & Tactics

RC Strasbourg Alsace

Frederic Antonetti’s side have all but secured Ligue 1 football for another season. Only a collapse of mammoth proportions coupled with Nantes winning all their remaining games while also overcoming a goal difference of 11 will see the home side drop into the bottom four.

PSG are not easy opponents but have struggled of late. They made it hard for themselves last weekend against Auxerre, another side that is mired in the relegation dogfight. Strasbourg have enjoyed a fine run of form at home of late and could surprise PSG if they approach the game with bravery.

Skipper Alexander Djiku will be suspended for the game following his sending-off against Troyes last weekend. Eiji Kawashima continues to nurse a shoulder injury, ruling him out of the game while Thomas Delaine appears to have recovered from an ankle injury. Eduard Sobol is a major doubt to feature in the starting XI following his broken nose last weekend.

Frederick Guilbert is also nursing a back injury but is expected to recover in time to feature. Not doing so could see PSG loanee Colin Dagba get his chance to make a difference.

An ultra-defensive 5-4-1 system appears to be the flavour of the day, with Strasbourg defending deep and keeping the PSG attack at bay. Matz Sels should start in goal behind the back five of Ismael Doukoure, Lucas Perrin, Gerzino Nyamsi, Maxime Le Marchand, and Frederic Guilbert.

The home side are expected to defend deep and will depend on their full-backs to provide the width while on the counter. How well they can do that depends on the duo of Ibrahima Sissoko and Morgan Sanson who are expected to start in central midfield.

Habib Diarra and Jean-Ricner Bellegarde should start on the wing with Habib Diallo leading the line. Diallo will stay further up the field while the former two are expected to drop back into midfield.

Probable Lineup (5-4-1): Sels; Doukoure, Perrin, Nyamsi, Le Marchand, Guilbert; Diarra, Sissoko, Sanson, Bellegarde; Diallo

RC Strasbourg Alsace vs PSG Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats.

Paris Saint-Germain

The French giants have been more or less inconsistent but their array of match-winners have bailed them out on more than one occasion. Galtier’s men seem a pale shadow of the idea that threatened to run away with it all earlier in the campaign.

While securing the Ligue 1 title is a question of when rather than if, one can not argue that PSG have come close to making a meal of the title race. Galtier’s job will continue to hang in the balance despite securing what is the club’s 11th Ligue 1 triumph.

PSG will be without the injured quartet of Neymar, Nordi Mukiele, Presnel Kimpembe, and Nuno Mendes. Hugo Ekitike and Fabian Ruiz also picked up knocks against Auxerre and are ruled out for the game. Brazilian defender Marquinhos penned a contract extension earlier this month but remains a doubt for the tie thanks to a groin injury.

Lionel Messi and Marco Verratti were not present at practice leading up to the game but as of yet, there is no confirmation regarding any injury concerns regarding the duo. However, Achraf Hakimi will serve his second suspension and will sit out of the game. 

Galtier appears set to deploy his side in a 3-5-2 formation with Gianluigi Donnarumma in goal. Timothee Pembele, Danilo Pereira, and Sergio Ranmos should form the backline should Marquinhos be deemed unfit to feature.

Warren Zaire-Emery and Juan Bernat will function as the full-backs with Renato Sanches, Vitinha, and Marco Verratti holding the fort in central midfield. Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe will reprise their partnership upfront with the former largely dropping back to act as a playmaker.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Donnarumma; Pembele, Pereira, Ramos; Zaire-Emery, Sanches, Vitinha, Verratti, Bernat; Messi, Mbappe

RC Strasbourg Alsace vs PSG Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats.

Key Stats

  • Among the French teams who have played PSG 20 or more times in Ligue 1 in the 21st century, Strasbourg has by far the worst win percentage.
  • Strasbourg have won just two of their last 30 Ligue 1 games against PSH, drawing seven and losing 21 in the process.
  • Avoiding defeat on the night will see Strasbourg go four straight league games without a defeat for the first time since April 2022.
  • PSG are primed to win their 11th Ligue 1 crown, making them the most successful side in the competition’s history.
  • Strasbourg have won five of their last seven home games in Ligue 1.

Player to Watch

Kylian Mbappe

RC Strasbourg Alsace vs PSG Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats.
Kylian Mbappe is PSG’s main man. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

PSG have been poor of late but Kylian Mbappe rediscovering his goal scoring touch has seen them get over the line more often than not. The French superstar has now scored nine goals in the last six games and should have opportunities to continue his streak against Strasbourg.

With several players missing, the onus is on Messi to drop deeper to act as a playmaker. This means Mbappe will shoulder PSG’s goalscoring burden, something he has done well of late. 


RC Strasbourg Alsace 0-2 Paris Saint-Germain

Strasbourg are a difficult side to beat at home and given their injuries, PSG will have to work to secure the win. The loss of several key first-team players should impact the visitors, who have looked disorganised for a large part of the second half of the campaign.

However, having the likes of Messi and Mbappe gives them the edge in terms of coming away with all three points. It is unlikely to be pretty but Galtier and co will be celebrating the Ligue 1 title come full-time. 


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