Predicted XI

Pochettino's first team selection - how PSG could line-up against Saint-Etienne

The Argentine head coach was appointed Paris Saint-Germain boss over the festive period after Thomas Tuchel was dismissed

10:33am on Tuesday 5th January 2021
Martin Macdonald

During the festive period break in Ligue 1, PSG parted ways with Thomas Tuchel as head coach and brought in former player Mauricio Pochettino to take his place in the hotseat in Paris.

Despite Tuchel winning successive titles and guiding the club to their first ever Champions League final, his relationship with certain directors, namely Leonardo, meant that the writing had been on the wall for a while with regards to his future as head coach.

Pochettino was subsequently recruited, with his first game in charge being a potentially tricky trip away to Saint-Etienne.

The former Tottenham boss will be without star player Neymar for his first game at the helm, as the Brazilian is yet to fully recover from the ankle injury suffered towards the end of 2020.

Presnel Kimpembe will also miss out due to a hamstring injury.

That is just two of a host of injury concerns for Pochettino, as Layvin Kurzawa, Alessandro Florenzi, Leandro Paredes, Rafina, and Juan Bernat are also missing, while there are continued concerns over the fitness of Abdou Diallo and Danilo.

Due to Florenzi's absence, 22-year-old Colin Dagba may be asked to deputise at right-back in a back four alongside Thilo Kehrer, Marquinhos, and Mitchel Bakker.

Idrissa Gueye, Marco Verratti, and Ander Herrera will likely make up the midfield three.

In attack, Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe will start, probably with Moise Kean playing the central role alongside them.

After losing 1-0 to Lyon in the middle of December, PSG are unbeaten in three and have won two of those.

In their most recent game on 23 December, they comfortably defeated Strasbourg 4-0, though the result was not enough to save Tuchel from being sacked.

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