When Paris Saint-Germain hosts Auxerre for their Ligue 1 match on Sunday afternoon, they will be looking to win seven straight games overall.
Christophe Galtier’s team leads the field by five points heading into the penultimate round of games before the World Cup break, while the newly promoted visitors are comfortably positioned in fifteenth place.
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Paris Saint-Germain vs Auxerre Tips and Prediction
When Lorient welcomed PSG to the Stade du Moustoir last week, the early-season surprise package, injury was quite literally put to insult for Lorient goalie Yvon Mvogo when the Merlus goalkeeper was robbed of the ball for Neymar’s ninth-minute opening.
Mvogo had to leave the field shortly after, but Lorient didn’t give up and equalized on the 53rd minute through Terem Moffi’s ninth goal of the season. However, the return of Danilo Pereira ensured that all three points would be going to the capital when he powered a header home in the 81st minute.
Only Serie A pacesetters Napoli are also yet to lose this season in the top five European leagues, as the Parisiens juggernaut continues to gain steam with Galtier’s team leading the standings five points ahead of second-placed Lens after 14 games.
Despite having a six-game winning streak across all competitions and setting up a delicious Champions League last-16 matchup with Bayern Munich — a rematch of the 2020 final — PSG’s defensive shortcomings have surfaced, as they have gone four games without a shutout.
Galtier’s team has a 28-game unbeaten home record in Ligue 1 to defend going into the match on Sunday, and it has been more than 12 years since Les Parisiens suffered a loss to a freshly promoted team at the Parc des Princes, so Auxerre will undoubtedly have their job cut out for them.
The Auxerre visitors have resorted to former Lorient manager Christophe Pelissier to try to keep them afloat in the top division after Jean-Marc Furlan’s contentious departure, as he did admirably with Les Merlus in back-to-back campaigns.
Pelissier can be sure to gain the support of the Auxerre supporters by earning four points from his first two games in charge. This is because, following last week’s 1-0 victory over Ajaccio, AJA rallied from a goal down to hold Troyes tGalt draw the previous weekend.
Before the halfway point, Rony Lopes gave ESTAC the lead with a goal, but Gaetan Perrin equalized for Auxerre, who are currently ranked 15th and two points above the four-team relegation zone, in the second half.
Pelissier’s team’s condition is far from secure, and while coming into the Parc des Princes having scored in each of their last seven games is a formula for some success against the visitors’ porous defense, giving up in each of their last 14 away games is not.
Sunday’s match will be the first between PSG and Auxerre since the 2014–15 Coupe de France final, which the Parisiens won 1-0 on Edinson Cavani’s game-winning goal. However, the visitors haven’t lost in any of their last four away games against the defending Ligue 1 champions, so if they want to pull off a pre–World Cup upset, they’ll need history to be on their side.
Messi’s anticipated comeback should multiply PSG’s creative production tenfold, and a nearly full-strength Galtier team should have much too much for Auxerre on Sunday afternoon.
The difference in quality between the two teams would eventually manifest, despite the visitors’ respectable, if not particularly impressive, start to life under Pelissier.