Newly promoted Lens take on champions PSG at the Stade de France in Friday night's big game in Ligue 1.
On Friday night, RC Lens travel to Paris to face Paris Saint-Germain in what is a home game for the newly promoted side. With the Stade Felix-Bollaert undergoing reconstruction for the 2016 European Championships, Lens are playing their majority of their home games in Amiens, but the bigger games have been moved to the Stade de France.
PSG have only won three out of the first nine games this season and Laurent Blanc is under pressure to get results, and now he comes face to face with Antoine Kombouaré, a former PSG coach, and he will want nothing more than to get one over on the side that let him go to usher in a new-era in the French capital.
Both sides are suffering from a loss of key players, with PSG especially weak in defence. Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Marquinhos are all out injured, leaving Zoumana Camara as they only fit centre-back left in the squad. Midfielder Thiago Motta will have to deputise at the back, although even he has just come back from injury himself.
Also missing from Friday’s game is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which again puts pressure on Edinson Cavani to lead the PSG attack. He has only scored three goals this season, and despite being backed up by his president, the home fans are starting to question if the Uruguayan is good enough.
Lens have their own problems at the back. Ahmed Kantari, a former PSG player, will miss the game through suspension, along with midfielder Wylan Cyprien. It means that Kombouare will have to move right-back Jean-Philippe Gbamin to the centre and rely on another youth prospect, Dimitri Kevin Cavare to play on the right. It’s not idea to play a back four with an average age of 22 against the French champions.
PSG will start the game as heavy favourites, but with the players they have missing, Lens will never have a better chance of beating the Parisians in their own backyard.
Lens: Riou – Cavare, Gbamin, Landre, Baal – Le Moigne, Nomenjanahary, Valdivia, Chavarria, Coulibaly – Touzghar
PSG: Sirigu – Van der Wiel, Camara, Motta, Maxwell – Cabaye, Verratti, Matuidi – Lucas, Pastore, Cavani
Lens v PSG is on ESPN tonight at 19:30