DECRYPTION – Everything you need to know before the Champions Trophy between Paris-SG and FC Nantes this Sunday evening (8 p.m.), in Tel Aviv.
Where and when to see PSG-Nantes?
Like last season, the Champions Trophy will take place at the Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv (Israel). Kick-off at 8 p.m. this Sunday for this traditional opposition between the champion of France (PSG) and the holder of the Coupe de France (Nantes). A game to watch Amazon Prime Video. Of course, you will be able to follow this first meeting of the season live with commentary on our site.
What are the forces involved?
PSG will be deprived of Kylian Mbappé, suspended, and one of its three summer recruits, Hugo Ekitike. The other two newcomers, Vitinha and Nordi Mukiele, will be there. Potential starters this summer, Abdou Diallo, Gana Gueye and Mauro Icardi will also be traveling to Israel, but not the “lofters” (Kurzawa, Wijnaldum, Kehrer, Rafinha, Herrera, Draxler). No worries for Neymar Jr, Lionel Messi, Marco Verratti, Marquinhos and company, who are all set to start this Sunday. According to the set-up made on Saturday, Christophe Galtier should renew the same 11 as against Gamba Osaka a few days ago (6-2). The infirmary is empty in Paris. Ditto in Nantes, Sébastien Corchia having been called up by Antoine Kombouaré after coming out injured against Rennes (0-1) in a friendly. The Kanak, ex-player and coach of PSG, can count on his recruits, the “dad” Moussa Sissoko, Evann Guessand and Mostafa Mohamed.
SEE ALSO – Signature, medical visit: behind the scenes of Nordi Mukiele’s arrival at PSG
What reception for Achraf Hakimi?
“Since last season, the Champions Trophy has been played here and each team has had a warm welcome“, said Galtier on Saturday, at a press conference. Teams, maybe. Not all the players… In this case, the Parisian Achraf Hakimi was profusely whistled by the Israeli public throughout the match against Lille last year, each time he touched the ball. A reaction that can probably be attributed to the support displayed by the 23-year-old Moroccan international for the Palestinian cause (see below). “We talked about that, the fact that he had to stay focused on the game and that’s what he did. His performance was good“explained Mauricio Pochettino after the game. And to add:He was very good, whether in behavior or in his performance“. Several players, Parisians or not, had given their support to Hakimi. The Collectif Ultras Paris too. To see if the Bloomfield Stadium has moved on, a year later.
What dynamics for the two teams?
As Marquinhos and Christophe Galtier indicated at a press conference, PSG is still in the running-in phase and “settings» compared to the new system, the 3-4-3. That did not prevent them from winning their four preparation matches, against Ligue 2 team Quevilly-Rouen (2-0) and against three local teams during their tour of Japan (2-1 against Kawazaki, 3-0 against Urawa and 6-2 against Osaka). “To be honest, if PSG plays 100%, we will do extras. But it is also a team that has problems for the moment, to find the balance“Analyzes Kombouaré, not yet knowing if “his” Canaries will be able to ride the wave of last season and this victory in the Coupe de France final against OGC Nice of… Galtier. “The seasons follow each other and are not always alike“, slips” Golden helmet “.
In preparation, Nantes won against Caen (L2, 2-0) and Lorient (2-0), and lost against Guingamp (L2, 0-1) and Rennes (0-1). “I don’t think the characteristics of FC Nantes will change compared to what we saw last seasonGuess Galtier, who has more to lose than his Nantes counterpart. Admittedly, the Champions Trophy does not represent a major objective for Paris, but “it’s a club that is used to winning trophies and it would be very interesting for everyone, and for (him) on a personal level, to start with a victory and a title. The pressure exists, it is permanent.»
What a story for both clubs in the competition
Lille ended a series of eight consecutive victories for PSG at the Champions Trophy last season, already on the field of Bloomfield Stadium (1-0). “On the match itself, it’s hard to say that we will be inspired by another team. We have different players. I rather think that we should be inspired by the way FC Nantes managed to beat PSG last season at La Beaujoire (3-1)“, assures the experienced Moussa Sissoko. The Rouge et Bleu nevertheless remain the record holders of the event, with ten coronations, ahead of Lyon (8). A title that the FCN has won only three times, in 1965, 1999 and 2001, for four defeats (1966, 1973, 1995, 2000). Note that the Parisian Marco Verratti is already the most successful player in the Champions Trophy (8), far ahead of Hatem Ben Arfa, Grégory Coupet, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva and Anthony Réveillère (5).
And after ?
This Champions Trophy officially opens the 2022-23 season in France. For Ligue 1, we will have to wait another week. A little less for PSG, which will begin the defense of its title on the ground of Clermont next Saturday (9 p.m.), during the first day of the championship. FC Nantes will begin their campaign with a short trip to Angers (Sunday August 7, 3 p.m.). The two clubs will also be fixed on their fate in the European Cup next Friday August 26, during the draw in Istanbul (Turkey). Paris-SG in the Champions League and Nantes in the Europa League. All before a totally crazy marathon until mid-November and the cut before the World Cup (November 21-December 18).