There is trouble in Paris. Reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain have lost their two opening matches and high-priced star Neymar is set to miss the club’s next three games after punching Marseille’s Alvaro in the head on Sunday night.
Manager Thomas Tuchel and his team have a Champions League hangover. Their loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final led into back to back Ligue 1 losses to Lens and Marseille. Neither match saw the Parisians create many goalscoring chances. Truth be told, Tuchel’s squad is understrength with several players still out after testing positive with COVID-19.
Metz’s visit to the Parc des Princes on Wednesday night comes at a time when the champions are reeling. Manager Vincent Hognon’s team are winless this season, suffering back to back losses in the league. Metz have not been blown out by opponents and have conceded just twice over the course of 180 minutes of football. They opened the season with a defeat on matchday 2 to Monaco, 1-0, and followed it up at the weekend with a late, 1-0, loss to Lille.
Can Metz take advantage of Paris Saint-Germain's poor form or will Tuchel’s team finally get a win?
Paris Saint-Germain are a shell of their former self. Neymar’s play on Sunday night versus Marseille shows that he struggles to lead the side on his own. The Brazilian needs Kylian Mbappe to play next to him to star, just like Lionel Messi and/or Luis Suarez was needed at Barcelona.
The Parisians have tallied just one shot on target against Lens to open the season on eight shots. They were slight better against Marseille on Sunday night registering four shots on target from 14 shots created. Still, the team did not have their shooting boots on. Tuchel’s team have not scored this season and have gone 180 minutes without scoring. They have an expected goals figure of 2.57 but have scored zero times.
According to Paris Saint-Germain's expected points total, they should be on 2.95 points, not zero. Metz are in a similar boat as Paris Saint-Germain. They have struggled to score and failed to keep goals out. The Maroons have conceded just twice this term. Sunday’s loss to Lille came in the dying minutes of the game as the team’s defence finally broke.
Metz have a chance at getting a point versus Paris Saint-Germain based on the home side’s current form. Tuchel could be scrapping the bottom of the barrel for players just as he did against Lens to open the campaign.
Paris Saint-Germain will once again be without Neymar. Since arriving in Paris, the Brazilian has missed more games than played them for the team through injury, suspension, and being rested. Neymar missed the match versus Lens due to a positive COVID-19 test result. He was blasted by Paris Saint-Germain fans for his naivety of go away to Ibiza on a post-Champions League holiday.
Joining Neymar on the suspended list is Leandro Paredes, who sparked a late brawl between Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille. Full-back Layvin Kurzawa will also miss the game due to his part in the dust-up versus Marseille.
Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi could return to the Paris Saint-Germain team after testing positive for COVID-19. The two players have quarantined for at least a week; however, it may be the weekend before they can get back into the team.
Hognon has just one injury to worry about at Metz. Kevin N’Doram is ruled out until December due to an Achilles injury. Paris Saint-Germain have won their last nine matches versus Metz in all competitions. The last time Metz got a point from Paris Saint-Germain was August 2007. They claimed a nil-nil draw on that day.
PSG to win to nil - BET NOW
Paris Saint-Germain may be struggling to score, but they have still kept games low scoring in defence. They have conceded just twice over the course of 180 minutes. They are slightly below their expected conceded goals of 2.22. Metz have struggled to score this term tallying zero goals in two games. Paris Saint-Germain have won to nil in their last two games versus Metz. That included a 5-0 win in 2017-18.
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Can Paris Saint-Germain's offence break out versus Metz? The club’s attack is lying dormant as Neymar has been off target early on while Mbappe has missed games. Paris Saint-Germain should finally get out of their goalscoring funk at home to Metz. Seven of their last 10 games in all competitions between Paris Saint-Germain and Metz.
Angel Di Maria to score anytime - BET NOW
Forward Angel Di Maria took zero shots against Marseille in his first appearance of the season. He did play a full 90 minutes against the south coast club. Di Maria may be Paris Saint-Germain's best hope for scoring and creating goals against Metz. He tallied eight goals last season in Ligue 1 while adding 14 assists. Last season, Di Maria averaged 3.30 shots per 90 minutes and 0.37 expected goals per 90 minutes. He ended the campaign pretty much on target with his 8.40 expected goals number.
Di Maria got on the scoresheet versus Metz in their only game last season. His goal came from the penalty stop while Eric Maxim Choupo-Mouting got the second from open play. Paris Saint-Germain's game this season could be much like their match versus Metz last term.
Last season, Neymar and Mbappe did not appear against Metz and it was up to Di Maria to lead them. Di Maria should once again lead his team to victory as Paris Saint-Germain get their first win of the season and get back into the title race. Despite losing their first two games of the campaign, Paris Saint-Germain are still leading sportsbooks’ favourites to win Ligue 1 at 1/9.
Parc De Princes will host PSG vs Metz in Wednesday night's Ligue 1 clash.
The Ligue 1 match between PSG and Metz kicks-off at 20:00 on Wednesday 16 September.