Predicted XI

Neymar out for Pochettino’s home bow - How PSG could line-up against Brest

Mauricio Pochettino will return to Parc des Princes for the first time as head coach but his PSG side will be without star man Neymar.

12:34pm on Friday 8th January 2021
Robin Bairner

Mauricio Pochettino would have gone into the Paris Saint-Germain job with his eyes open that it was not going to be a straightforward task. However, he was given an early indication of how complex it promises to be on Wednesday.

His PSG side were held to a 1-1 draw against Saint-Etienne, and while they largely dominated the game, they looked vulnerable at the back and come full-time Pochettino was forced to agree that his side did not deserve the win.

The whirlwind start to the Argentine’s tenure in Paris continues on Saturday when his side host Brest at Parc des Princes – his home debut in the dugout.

Pochettino wants time to work with his squad in terms of being able to make tactical adjustments, but having taken his first training session last Sunday, he has simply not had time to do that.

Ultimately, the idea is to have the team working in a 4-2-3-1 formation, which is a move away from the 4-2-2-2 or 4-3-3 habitually used by predecessor Thomas Tuchel.

Tactically, the only revolution in midweek was to shift Marco Verratti closer to the forwards. It paid off as he got into the box and teed up Moise Kean for the equaliser.

Perhaps when Pochettino has a stronger squad to work with, the Italian will be used deeper once more, but the injury crisis at PSG is ongoing and will deprive them of numerous players for the weekend.

Neymar (ankle) is the foremost of Pochettino’s problems, with the Brazilian ruled out along with Juan Bernat (knee) and Rafinha (Covid-19).

Presnel Kimpembe and Danilo are still not training but should be available in a week, while Leandro Paredes is very unlikely to be risked.

Layvin Kurzawa and Alessandro Florenzi may come into Pochettino’s thinking for the first time but no risks will be taken.

Some positive news, however, is the return of Mauro Icardi, but he faces a battle to regain fitness due to the form of Kean.

Despite the disappointment of the midweek game, PSG’s side is unlikely to change dramatically.

PSG predicted XI v Brest

PSG - Football tactics and formations

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