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PSG to record another league win against Lille


On Friday night, Ligue One leaders and champions PSG host Lille at the Parc des Princes, as the big spending home side look to continue their start to their campaign in the French top-flight.

PSG have kicked off their league campaign in impressive form by winning all 11 of their games in Ligue 1. The club from the French capital have also scored at least twice in all of their Ligue One games so far this season.

Last time out in Ligue One, PSG recorded a 2-0 win in a potentially tough trip to Marseille. The game against OM was the fourth straight league game in which the home side have kept a clean sheet.

Unsurprisingly, PSG have an impressive recent home record in Ligue 1, winning their last six games, while scoring at least three goals in the process. The Parisians have also conceded just two goals in their last six games on home soil in the French top-flight.

Lille have been the surprise package of the Ligue One campaign. The visitors currently sit second in the table, a massive eight points behind the league home side. They have recorded wins in their last four outings in the French top-flight.

The visitors have been relatively prolific in the French top-flight of late, scoring at least two goals in three of their last four matches.

Lille have a relatively poor recent record on the road in Ligue 1, having won just three of their last 13 league games on their travels. However, they have managed to win two of their last three away games in Ligue 1.

One negative heading into this game for Lille is the fact they have failed to beat PSG in the last 15 meetings between the two teams.

Sportsecond spredicts that PSG will continue their stellar start to the campaign by recording a victory in a high scoring clash.

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Booed Emery praises PSG´s mental strength

Unai Emery conceded Paris Saint-Germain’s return to Ligue 1 action against Strasbourg was mentally tough on the back of Wednesday’s sapping Champions League loss at Real Madrid.

PSG fell behind to Jean-Eudes Aholou’s sixth-minute opener but Julian Draxler, Neymar and Angel Di Maria made it 3-1 by the midway point of the first half.

Edinson Cavani’s brace secured a 5-2 victory after Stephane Bahoken pulled a goal back as Emery’s men partially banished the memories of the 3-1 midweek reverse at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg of the teams’ Champions League last-16 tie.

“The win is important after we lost to Madrid. We kept our rhythm, we keep winning all the games in Paris,” said head coach Emery, who was booed by a section of the home support at the Parc des Princes when his name was announced before kick-off.

“We want to keep giving confidence to our fans before playing Marseille twice and Madrid at home. We want to prove we are able to maintain this level.

“We will try to do it against big teams like Marseille or Madrid, with all the respect we owe to Strasbourg.

“It’s true that we conceded some opportunities today, fair enough considering the game we have played at Madrid.

“Mentally it was not easy. But we did well and we managed to win, keep confidence and keep our level here.”

Thiago Silva was a surprise omission in Madrid – a move that invited scorn from Emery’s critics – as Marquinhos partnered youngster Presnel Kimpembe.

The experienced Brazil centre-back was restored against Strasbourg and drew praise from the man in the dugout.

“I think Thiago Silva was focused and played a good game,” Emery added.

“I’ve spoken with the three central backs individually and collectively to let them know they are very important. I am happy with them.

“After I make my own choices for every games but I am very happy with all three.”

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Another Big Victory on the Cards for PSG

Paris Saint-Germain are currently cruising towards the Ligue 1 title and they play host to Dijon on Wednesday night.

The hosts will have at least an 8-point gap with this game in hand over the second-place team going into the match and with a vastly superior goal difference, they will be feeling little pressure in the lead up to the game.

Dijon sit in midtable and have 25 points from their twenty matches played. This leaves them a full 18 points adrift of PSG, despite being in 9th place in the league. A win could move Dijon one place higher in the table but a loss could see them drop significantly into the bottom half of Ligue 1.

Trends show PSG have won each of their last seven games in all competitions. Their last defeat came against Bayern Munich in the Champions League and since then they have won four Ligue 1 games and three matches in domestic cup competitions.

At home this season, PSG have been phenomenal and have won all their thirteen matches played at the Parc des Princes in all competitions. They have scored at least 2 or more goals in each of those thirteen matches and 3 or more goals in ten of those games.

PSG have scored an average of 2.9 goals in Ligue 1 this season and an incredible 3.4 goals in home league games.

Dijon are certainly up against it in this match and trends show they have won one of their last five matches in all competitions.

There have been defeats at Angers and Guingamp in Ligue 1 plus an extra-time loss at Strasbourg in the Coupe de France. Dijon were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Metz in Ligue 1 on the weekend.

Away from home, trends show Dijon have lost each of their last five games and have conceded 2 or more goals in the last four. They have won just one of their last seventeen away matches in Ligue 1 and two of the last thirty-three.

Dijon have seen over 2.5 goals in seven of their last eight matches in Ligue 1 and are conceding an average of 2.2 goals in away league games this season.

Team news and PSG have doubts over Thiago Motta and Neymar with neither likely to be risked if not at 100%. Thiago Silva and Layvin Kurzawa could start the match having missed out against Nantes on the weekend.

Defender Papy Djilobodji is suspended for Dijon, leaving them with limited options at the back. Cedric Varrault will come into a defence which is going to be heavily tested on Wednesday night.

PSG are huge favourites to win this game and it would be a shock to see Dijon come away with anything, especially given their recent away form. Expect PSG to attack and we should see over 2.5 goals and a home win.

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PSG 3 Caen 1: Cavani and birthday-boy Mbappe on target in routine win

Edinson Cavani edged closer towards becoming Paris Saint-Germain’s all-time record scorer after netting the opener in their comfortable 3-1 win over Caen, while Kylian Mbappe celebrated his 19th birthday in style.

Uruguay striker Cavani scored with a superb flicked finish midway through the first half to move to 155 goals – one behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s record – and set Unai Emery’s side up for a routine evening.

Mbappe, playing on his birthday, had showed an electrifying blend of pace and skill to set up Cavani for that goal before getting on the scoresheet himself after 57 minutes.

Wonderfully teed up by the impressive Argentinian midfielder Giovani Lo Celso, the France international coolly slotted home to continue his fine start to life at the Parc des Princes.

Cavani missed a number of clear openings to add to his tally and will now have to wait until at least January 7 to pull past Ibrahimovic when the Ligue 1 giants take on Rennes in the Coupe de France.

Yuri Berchiche drilled in a third for the league leaders – who remain nine points clear of Monaco – after clever play from Neymar, before Caen scored a late consolation when Ivan Santini netted from the penalty spot.

PSG started in typically dominant fashion and should have opened the scoring inside five minutes, but Mbappe uncharacteristically blazed over the crossbar after taking a touch past goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre to create room for the shot.

He made up for that miss in the 21st minute as his scintillating run from just inside the Caen half gave him room to tee up Cavani, who sumptuously backheeled past Vercoutre for his 19th Ligue 1 goal of the campaign.

Ronny Rodelin nearly struck back immediately for the visitors, but Kevin Trapp was equal to his well-struck volley, before Cavani squandered a glorious chance to grab his second, drilling agonisingly past the left post.

Neymar, who had been on the periphery of the game, came close to doubling the hosts’ advantage shortly before the interval, whipping a free-kick inches over the crossbar.

Cavani continued to be at the heart of everything and just failed to make a solid connection to Lo Celso’s throughball moments after the restart.

Caen clearly had no designs on damage limitation and they one more forced Trapp into action as he palmed Frederic Guilbert’s powerful drive over, before Cavani again squandered an opportunity, scuffing wide at the back post.

Mbappe then got the goal his effervescent display deserved as he met Lo Celso’s fine cross to send a controlled half-volley in for his eighth league goal of the campaign.

Lo Celso was denied a memorable first Ligue 1 goal when his exquisite chip was tipped wide by Vercoutre, while Neymar saw his low effort tipped onto the post by the overworked goalkeeper.

There was still time for a third as former Real Sociedad full-back Berchiche scored his first goal for the club with a powerful finish.

Caen at least ensured a late consolation when Thiago Silva was adjudged to have blocked a shot with his arm and Santini duly slotted home from the resulting spot-kick.

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Dijon 1 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Meunier heroics put Ligue 1 leaders six points clear

Thomas Meunier scored a dramatic double, including a stoppage-time winner, as Paris Saint-Germain salvaged a 2-1 away win over Dijon to move six points clear at the top of Ligue 1.

In a dramatic finale, Meunier netted two minutes into additional time to ensure PSG took full advantage of champions Monaco’s last-gasp defeat to Lyon.

A superb goal from Benjamin Jeannot, who smashed in a sensational volley with three minutes remaining, looked to have rescued a point for Dijon on Saturday.

But Meunier, who had previously netted a second-half opener, popped up to strike again – the right-back now has seven goals for club and country already this season.

Earlier, Dani Alves hit the woodwork in one of the rare moments of quality in a quiet first half that saw Dijon restrict PSG.

And host of missed chances from Kylian Mbappe almost haunted the visitors as they failed to convert their second-half dominance into goals prior to the late drama.

PSG were not at their formidable best but now have 25 points from a possible 27 in a fine start to the domestic campaign. Dijon, meanwhile, sit 17th with only one victory from their first nine games.

Angel Di Maria – brought into the starting line-up in place of Edinson Cavani after the Uruguayan’s international exploits – threatened first as his curling effort from just outside the area was pushed away by Dijon goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet.

The hosts were more than holding their own and Jordan Mane volleyed narrowly wide, before PSG keeper Alphonse Areola had to react impressively to parry away a powerful, swerving strike from Kwon Chang-hoon.

Despite a lacklustre showing in a quiet first half, PSG came close to going into the break in front, Alves sending a magnificent 30-yard free-kick dipping towards the top corner, although his effort ultimately hit the angle between post and bar.

Heroic Dijon defending denied PSG early in the second half, Julian Draxler and Mbappe both having close-range efforts kept out by last-ditch blocks from Papy Djilobodji and Oussama Haddadi.

Djilobodji then produced an overhead kick at the other end which Areola had to push wide, while Di Maria should have scored after a mistake from Reynet left him out of position, the midfielder blasting over when only Dijon defenders stood between him and the goal-line.

PSG were upping the pressure and Mbappe soon fired over from another golden chance, failing to find the target from inside the six-yard box after a great right-wing cross by Di Maria.

Reynet saved from Mbappe at the second attempt as the forward raced on to an Alves throughball shortly before PSG hit the woodwork for the second time in the match from the resulting corner, with Marquinhos heading against the bar after Neymar’s delivery.

The inspired Dijon keeper saved twice more from Mbappe in PSG’s next attacks, the second seeing him get down to make a key stop after Di Maria had impressively given the France international another shooting opportunity from only six yards out.

PSG finally made the breakthrough with 20 minutes remaining, Meunier beating Reynet at his near post on a rebound caused by Neymar’s initial effort being saved.

But just as Unai Emery’s men looked like they were successfully taking the sting out of the game, a stunning moment saw Dijon move level. A high ball from the back caused havoc between Presnel Kimpembe and Marquinhos, allowing Jeannot to send a magnificent volley over Areola and in.

PSG were not to be denied, though, with good work from Mbappe down the left teeing up Meunier’s effort, which only just crossed the line as the visitors’ chances of regaining their Ligue 1 crown were further strengthened.

Key Opta stats:

– PSG have won all five of their Ligue 1 encounters with Dijon: 2-0 on 23 October 2011, 2-1 on 11 March 2012, 3-0 on 20 September 2016, 3-1 on 4 February 2017 & 2-1 on Saturday.
– PSG have only lost once in their last 29 Ligue 1 games (W24, D4), against Nice on 30 April 2017.

– In addition to scoring 29 goals in nine league matches this season, PSG have hit the woodwork 11 times.

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Paris Saint-Germain 6 Bordeaux 2: Neymar, Cavani dispel rift rumours in emphatic victory

Neymar and Edinson Cavani brought a resounding end to talk of a rift between them as Paris Saint-Germain romped to a stunning 6-2 victory over Bordeaux at the Parc des Princes.

Reports of ill feeling between the two surfaced after an on-field disagreement over penalty-taking duties during the 2-0 win over Lyon a fortnight ago, but they showed that is firmly behind them on Saturday.

PSG were awarded a spot-kick in the 40th minute following a foolish handball by Otavio and Neymar converted it before turning to celebrate with Cavani, who won their argument against Lyon but was denied from 12 yards.

That was Neymar’s second of the match, the Brazilian having opened the scoring with a sublime free-kick and setting up Cavani for his eighth Ligue 1 goal in as many outings this term.

Unai Emery’s intention to attack was clear from his selection of Julian Draxler in place of Thiago Motta – one of four changes from the 3-0 Champions League victory over Bayern Munich on Wednesday – and the German rewarded his coach with a scintillating volley and an assist for Kylian Mbappe in the second half.

Thomas Meunier also netted with Younousse Sankhare and a Malcom penalty providing Bordeaux’s consolations as Jocelyn Gourvennec’s side suffered their first league defeat of the season, meaning PSG are the only unbeaten team left in the top flight.

PSG took just five minutes to get on the scoreboard. Mbappe’s quick feet drew a foul from experienced defender Jeremy Toulalan in a central position 30 yards out and Neymar dispatched a beautiful free-kick that spun away from Benoit Costil and into the top-left corner.

Seven minutes later the hosts’ captivating front three linked up magnificently to double their advantage. Mbappe flicked Presnel Kimpembe’s pass inside for Neymar, whose throughball found Cavani running in behind Vukasin Jovanovic to stab past Costil.

The unrelenting hosts were three to the good when Meunier guided Yuri Berchice’s left-wing cross home, Mbappe’s failure to connect enabling the ball to run through to the Belgian.

But PSG were guilty of stepping off the gas and Bordeaux took full advantage. Theo Pellenard held up the ball brilliantly before spinning away from Marco Verratti and sliding a pass into Nicolas de Preville, who squared for Sankhare to add a simple finish.

Francois Kamano failed to head on target in a gilt-edged opportunity before Alphonse Areola kept out Malcom, but the visitors were out of the game by half-time. Otavio handled the ball in the box after Kamano failed to clear and Neymar sent Costil the wrong way from the resultant penalty.

Draxler made it five when, after launching the break, he met a cross from Mbappe with an exquisite cross-goal volley with the outside of his left boot that gave Costil no chance.

After a tepid start to the second period their roles switched, Draxler winning possession in the Bordeaux half and supplying the ball that Mbappe guided across the keeper and inside the far post in the 58th minute.

Cavani was warmly applauded as he made way for Angel Di Maria after the hour mark and PSG struggled to threaten in the Uruguayan’s absence.

Instead it was Bordeaux who went close as substitute Alexandre Mendy rattled the post and Kamano was kept out by an impressive stop from Areola.

Neymar volleyed a chance for his hat-trick wide from a delightful Giovani Lo Celso chip in the 80th minute, but it was another Brazilian who had the final say.

Meunier sent Jonathan Cafu tumbling in the box and Malcom slammed the penalty into the top-right corner for a goal that did little to dampen spirits at a jubilant Parc des Princes.

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Emery hints at PSG penalty rotation

Unai Emery has suggested he could rotate Paris Saint-Germain’s penalty specialists as Neymar prepares to start alongside Edinson Cavani against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Reports of discontent in the PSG dressing room have emerged after Neymar, a world-record €222million signing from Barcelona in August, argued with established centre-forward Cavani over who should take a spot-kick in the 2-0 victory at home to Lyon in Ligue 1.

The Uruguayan won that battle of wills but failed to score and Emery has since assured he has spoken to both players regarding the issue.

Neymar sat out a 0-0 league draw at Montpellier last weekend but is due to return to the starting XI when Bayern go to Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

Should the visitors commit a foul inside the area, all eyes will be on PSG’s expensively assembled strikeforce – old and new – to try to glean the outcome of Emery’s decision.

“Many players are able to do this,” the coach said of taking responsibility from 12 yards out.

“Many want it. Cavani and Neymar are ready. There will be a lot of penalties and they will both get them.

“I spoke with the two. I told them how things should happen.”

Emery acknowledged Bayern are among the perennial favourites to capture the continent’s elite club competition but also knows PSG are now deemed to be within that bracket.

“It’s a big team, with a great history,” he said.

“They are among the candidates to win the Champions League.”

Asked about PSG’s transition to that status, the former Sevilla boss said: “I was on the other side. I watched the great European teams, with the best players in the world.

“We have taken an important step to be part of these teams.

“We have more sporting enemies. The other teams see that we are serious. There is a real competition between PSG and the big teams.

“It’s good for us.”

Emery also offered an endorsement of Julian Draxler, who shone after arriving from Wolfsburg in January but has found it tougher to earn a place in the first XI following the arrivals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe from Monaco.

“He is an important player,” he said of the Germany international playmaker.

“He had six good months last season. He began late on his return from the Confederations Cup. He offers versatility. He can help us by starting or by coming on.”

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Paris Saint-Germain 2 Lyon 0: Own goal double maintains 100 per cent start for Emery´s men

Two late own goals helped Paris Saint-Germain maintain their 100 per cent record in Ligue 1 with a hard fought 2-0 win over Lyon at the Parc des Princes.

The hosts were some way off their free-flowing best, with their vaunted attacking trio of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani struggling to break down a stubborn Lyon backline for much of Sunday’s encounter.

Lyon’s resistance was finally broken with 15 minutes remaining when Marcelo got the final touch to Cavani’s flick to score an unfortunate own goal.

Cavani then saw a penalty brilliantly saved by Anthony Lopes before another own goal – this time from Jeremy Morel – added an undeserved gloss to the scoreline four minutes from time.

Lyon were left to rue their luck at either end of the field, having seen Tanguy NDombele’s thunderous second-half effort cannon against the crossbar at 0-0.

PSG will hope to continue their seemingly unstoppable march when they visit Montpellier next weekend, while Lyon will hope to bounce back from their first league defeat of the season when they host Dijon.
Lyon looked sharp in the early stages and had a penalty appeal rejected after five minutes when NDombele went down awkwardly under pressure from Layvin Kurzawa.

The visitors threatened again shortly afterwards when Memphis Depay cut inside from the left, but his powerful drive was well gathered by Alphonse Areola.

The attacking verve that PSG so effortlessly demonstrated in the 5-0 Champions League win over Celtic in midweek was absent in the early stages, but they nearly broke the deadlock when Thiago Silva met Neymar’s low cross. The Brazilian defender could only skew his shot over the bar, though.

For much of the half, the Parisians struggled to penetrate Lyon’s resolute backline. On one of the rare occasions that they did, Neymar’s strike from the edge of the area was too close to Lopes, who comfortably parried it away.

The first opening of the second period went Lyon’s way. Nabil Fekir won the ball on PSG’s right touchline before bursting into the area, where his low shot was pushed out for a corner by Areola.

Fekir was in the thick of the action soon after when he unceremoniously hauled down Neymar on the edge of the area after a surging run. From the resulting free-kick, Lopes did well to push away Neymar’s shot, which looked destined for the top corner.

Lyon came agonisingly close to taking the lead after 67 minutes, when NDombele’s drive from 30 yards crashed back off the woodwork.

They then squandered a golden opportunity to score when Marcelo headed straight at Areola from Ferland Mendy’s teasing free-kick.

They were made to pay for that miss in the 75th minute as PSG took the lead. Substitute Giovani Lo Celso did well to create space on the left and his cross was met by Cavani, whose backheel attempt was deflected in by the unfortunate Marcelo.

Cavani, who seemingly won an argument with Neymar over who should take the spot-kick after Mendy had manhandled Mbappe in the area, missed the opportunity to get his name on the scoresheet as Lopes superbly tipped his penalty onto the bar.

But Lyon were dealt a cruel blow as Mbappe’s shot bounced back off Lopes onto the onrushing Morel, who could do nothing to prevent the ball rolling into an empty net to cement PSG’s win.

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Celtic 0 Paris Saint-Germain 5: Cavani creates history as PSG run riot at Parkhead

Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar all found the net as Paris Saint-Germain inflicted Celtic’s heaviest ever home defeat in Europe by racking up a 5-0 scoreline at Parkhead.

PSG’s star-studded forward line tore the Scottish champions apart to not only maintain their perfect start to the new season but also send out a warning to their Champions League rivals.

Playing in the competition for the first time since his world-record transfer from Barcelona, Neymar raced onto Adrien Rabiot’s throughball to give the dominant French side a deserved lead in the 19th minute of the Group B contest.

The scorer turned provider for PSG’s second, heading back across goal for Mbappe to find the net for the sixth time in his last seven Champions League games, the previous five coming in last season’s knockout stages for Monaco.

Cavani converted a 40th-minute penalty to make it 3-0 and, in the process, become his club’s leading scorer in European competitions, his 21st goal moving him ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the all-time list.

The Uruguayan added another to his tally with a header in the 85th minute after Celtic’s Mikael Lustig had presented PSG with a fourth by turning a Julian Draxler cross into his own net.

Despite a raucous home crowd doing their best to rouse their players prior to kick-off, Brendan Rodgers’ side spent much of the opening 45 minutes chasing after PSG’s collection of superstars.

Dominant from the outset, PSG took the lead when Neymar escaped teenage full-back Anthony Ralston and fired beyond the advancing Craig Gordon, giving him his fifth goal in as many matches for his new club.

By that stage, PSG had already seen a goal ruled out for offside, Cavani the player denied as he was adjudged to be fractionally beyond the last defender when turning in Layvin Kurzawa’s cross.

The striker then fluffed his lines when Neymar’s unselfish header gifted him a glorious opportunity from six yards out, although Mbappe capitalised on his team-mate’s profligacy to smash a rising shot high into the Celtic net.

Cavani did, however, get his landmark goal before the break, converting from the spot after he had been pulled back by defender Jozo Simunovic as they battled to reach a cross.

Leigh Griffiths’ free-kick and a low drive from Scott Sinclair kept PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola on his toes before the interval, while the former fluffed a glorious chance to score from Kieran Tierney’s cross in the opening minutes of a second half played at a much more sedate pace.

Ralston raised the noise levels inside Celtic Park when he followed a rampaging run with a hefty challenge on Thiago Motta, the 18-year-old responding to the booking from referee Daniele Orsato by raising his fists in defiance to his supporters.

Yet Celtic’s hope of at least holding PSG scoreless in the second half disappeared when Lustig had the misfortune of deflecting Draxler’s driven ball from the right into his own goal.

It was fitting that Cavani completed the rout when he acrobatically headed in Kurzawa’s cross at the back post, as PSG wrapped up an emphatic win on the road. Next up in Europe: Bayern Munich at home.

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PSG to continue perfect Ligue one campaign

Big spending PSG have started their Ligue One campaign like a team that means business this season. Unai Emery’s side can make it five out of five wins in the French top-flight when they travel to Metz on Thursday night.

Metz have made a horrendous start to their Ligue One campaign this season, losing all four of their games in the French top-flight. The last thing they need at the moment is a visit from the in-form Parisians.

The home side have struggled for goals in the early part of their league campaign, failing to score in their last three league games. Their form is no better at the Stade Saint-Symphorien either, as Metz have won just one of their last seven Ligue One games on home soil.

To make matters Metz have suffered six straight defeats against PSG in all competitions. The trends do not suggest that their poor run of form will end in this clash either.

PSG were one of the stories of the summer transfer window with their eye-catching captures of Neymar and Kevin Mbappe. However, their summer signings are not the only notable aspect of PSG of late, as the team from the French capital have started their league campaign in impressive fashion.

Not only have Emery’s team won all four of their Ligue One games, PSG have also scored at least two goals in all four victories in Ligue One. The visitor’s good form stretches back to last season, as they have now won 14 of their last 16 games in the French top-flight.

They also have a very strong away record in Ligue One, winning ten out of their last 11 games on their travels in the French top-flight.

Unsurprisingly, predicts that PSG will continue their hundred per cent start to their Ligue One campaign and add to Metz’s misery.