PSG VS Strasbourg LIVE Football Score 29/12/2022
A Paris Saint-Germain side ostensibly cruising towards another Ligue 1 title resume their quest for glory when Strasbourg visit the Parc des Princes on Wednesday. Even with the floodlights at the Parc des Princes shut off for the World Cup, the PSG theme was well and truly alive in Qatar, as Argentina’s Lionel Messi and France’s Kylian Mbappe butted heads in one of the greatest World Cup finals, and indeed football matches, to ever be played.
The man in Albiceleste colours came up trumps to tick off every box on his footballing CV, but international alliances will soon cease for PSG’s World Cup contingent as they return to Camp des Loges with the aim of successfully defending their customary Ligue 1 title. A 5-0 thumping of Auxerre just before the World Cup break marked PSG’s seventh consecutive win in all competitions to see them maintain their unassailable lead over Lens, with Galtier’s side still unbeaten this season and taking 41 points from 45 on offer in Ligue 1.
Les Parisiens are engaged in a fierce battle with Napoli to become the only side left in Europe’s top five leagues to remain unbeaten, and their two winter friendlies also ended in victory, with a 2-1 win over Paris FC preceding a 3-1 success over Quevilly Rouen. The reigning French champions could now extend their unbeaten Ligue 1 streak at the Parc des Princes to a remarkable 30 matches since going down 1-0 to Lille in April 2021, and not many will be placing bets on a relegation-threatened Strasbourg team upsetting the apple cart.
Attempting to replicate his unprecedented European feats with Rennes was the goal for Julien Stephan last season, as his Strasbourg side came oh so close to forcing their way into continental contention, but a harsh dose of reality has been inflicted upon them this time around.
After achieving the coveted goal of becoming world champion, PSG talisman Messi will take time off until the New Year, but Mbappe has already returned to training alongside Achraf Hakimi, who made history of his own by reaching the semi-finals with Morocco.
Danilo Pereira sustained broken ribs in Portugal training but has been seen with the ball at his feet on PSG’s practice pitches, while Nuno Mendes is still nursing a thigh injury, and the Achilles problem that ruled Presnel Kimpembe out of the World Cup is taking longer to heal than expected. The injury-plagued Renato Sanches is also out with a knock sustained in the friendly with Quevilly-Rouen.
With no Messi available to complete the attacking trifecta with Mbappe and Neymar, Carlos Soler could be given the nod in a more advanced role, unless Galtier opts to take a punt on Hugo Ekitike in the final third.
As for Strasbourg, key defender Alexander Djiku is one of a plethora of France-based players to have been caught up in a recent sports betting scandal, and the Ghanaian defender will serve a one-match ban for a breach of those rules this week.
Djiku’s suspension will at least give him more time to recover from his World Cup exploits with Ghana, and the visitors’ only other Qatar representative was Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima, but the 39-year-old is now playing second fiddle to Matz Sels at club level anyway.
PSG loanee Colin Dagba is unlikely to face his parent club because of a calf injury, while 21-year-old playmaker Nordine Kandil is also nursing a foot problem, but Stephan’s squad is otherwise in good shape for the trip to the capital.
With just one win to boast from all of their Ligue 1 games so far this season – a 3-2 triumph versus Angers, the only team below them in the rankings – Strasbourg are living very dangerously indeed and entered the World Cup break without a win in five competitive matches.
Les Coureurs can take pride in holding Marseille and this season’s surprise package Lorient to draws in that sequence, but they are still two points adrift of the safety of 16th place, and their only winter friendly ended in a 1-0 defeat to Feyenoord on December 13.
Strasbourg’s penchant for goals on the road is one of the few positives that their ardent fans can look for ahead of a trip to Paris, as Stephan’s men have scored a respectable nine goals in their last five road fixtures, albeit while conceding 11 at the wrong end of the field.
An end to their six-year run in the top flight could befall the visitors unless results pick up in the New Year, and the hosts have gone unbeaten in their last 10 clashes with Strasbourg in all tournaments since a surprise 2-1 defeat in the 2017-18 campaign. Christophe Galtier’s men hold a five-point lead over Lens at the top of the table, while their under-performing visitors are second from bottom after a disastrous first half of the season.
Normal service is set to resume in France on Wednesday with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar both set to feature for leader Paris Saint-German as it restarts its Ligue 1 season, 45 days after it was popped on ice for the World Cup, with a home game against struggling Strasbourg.
Lionel Messi, however, will not be on show in round 16 as he is still at home, celebrating Argentina’s success in the World Cup final in Qatar. The club, though, has been buoyed by reports last week that the 35-year-old Messi is set to sign a one-year extension to his contract which expires in the summer.
Mbappe, who scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final but still ended up on the losing side as France flunked the penalty shoot-out, reported back to training on Wednesday with Achraf Hakimi, one of the stand-outs in Morocco’s run to the semi-finals.
Mbappe, Messi and Hakimi were just three of the 14 Ligue 1 players — from eight different clubs — who reached the semi-finals in Qatar. Neymar, whose Brazil crashed out to Croatia in the quarter-finals, was back on Thursday with compatriot Marquinhos, with both expected to play a role in Wednesday’s game at the Parc des Princes.
PSG is currently five points clear of second-placed Lens who they meet in Flanders on Sunday. Lens, meanwhile, will look to keep up the pressure on PSG going into that game when they head down to Nice on Thursday.Third-placed Rennes have Croatia’s Lovro Majer and on-loan Wales defender Joe Rodon back from action in Qatar as they head to Reims on Thursday.
For me, it’s a second season that’s starting up again, with the same uncertainties, the same unknowns before a first league match of the season,” said Rennes manager Bruno Genesio. “We’ll see which teams have best managed this.”