Preview: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Rennes

Two giants of the French game will collide in a mouthwatering showdown on Saturday as Paris Saint-Germain welcome Rennes to the Parc des Princes.

However, both sides recently suffered dismal defeats in the Champions League on Wednesday and will be determined to put things right upon their return to top-flight action.

Paris Saint-Germain - finalists of the 2019-20 Champions League - could fall at the first hurdle of the 2020-21 edition. The capital outfit have now lost two of their opening three matches after succumbing to a 2-1 defeat to RB Leipzig in midweek.

A mistake by Dayot Upamecano allowed Angel Di Maria to slot home before the Argentine missed a penalty, and Leipzig soon rectified their mistakes as Christopher Nkunku and Emil Forsberg completed the comeback in Germany.

Already without their prolific attacking duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, PSG finished the game with nine men after Idrissa Gueye and Presnel Kimpembe were both given their marching orders for second bookable offences - it was truly a night to forget for Thomas Tuchel at the Red Bull Arena.

Despite their underwhelming European form, PSG will be confident of returning to winning ways in Ligue 1 as they look to further cement their position atop the rankings, with the current champions opening up a two-point gap on Lille after Les Dogues could only muster a point from their clash with Lyon last week.

Tuchel's men have notched up 17 goals and conceded just one in their last four league games, and while the losses of Neymar and Mbappe are sure to affect PSG on the attacking front, the capital outfit are now coming up against a Rennes side who suffered a woeful midweek defeat of their own and who do not boast such an impressive top-flight record.

After such a terrific start to the campaign, Rennes have started to tail off in recent weeks and have not had much luck on the international stage either.

Julien Stephan's men were never expected to overcome a talented Chelsea side on their own turf in midweek as two Timo Werner penalties - the second of which was very controversially awarded - set the tone for the first half before Tammy Abraham got in on the act in the second 45.

That 3-0 defeat for the 10 men of Rennes leaves them bottom of Group E at the midway point with one point taken from a possible nine, and a trip to league champions PSG is the last thing that Les Rouge et Noir needed before the international break.

It is fair to say that Rennes' league form has been unsatisfactory in recent weeks, with Stephan's men drawing to Reims and Dijon before losing to Angers in October, but the Rouge et Noir faithful were treated to a victory over Brest on Halloween, with the centre-back pairing of Nayef Aguerd and Damien Da Silvanotching up the goals in that one.

Both defenders now lead the way in the Rennes scoring chart with three each to their names, while Serhou Guirassy has also chalked up a trio of goals so far, and Stephan will need his attacking contingent to be firing on all cylinders if Rennes are to avoid a second-straight defeat at the Parc des Princes.

Paris Saint-Germain Ligue 1 form: WWWWWW
Paris Saint-Germain form (all competitions): WLWWWL

Rennes Ligue 1 form: WWDDLW
Rennes form (all competitions): DDLLWL

Team News

With Neymar already sidelined until after the international break, fellow goal-getter Mbappe could also be out until the end of the month with the hamstring injury which kept him out of the Leipzig clash.

Furthermore, Mauro Icardi's injury means another start up top for Moise Kean, and while two midfielders in Marco Verratti and Julian Draxler have not made their return just yet, Leandro Paredes is back and could be involved on Saturday.

Mitchel Bakker should also return at left-back in place of Layvin Kurzawa, with Paredes's recovery allowing Marquinhos to return to the rearguard.

The red card was also brandished in Rennes's fixture with Chelsea as Dalbert's handball was deemed worthy of a second yellow by referee Felix Zwayer, although the award of the penalty itself was controversial enough without the booking.

Stephan was without teenage starlet Eduardo Camavinga for the trip to London and the 17-year-old is set to sit out the trip to the Parc des Princes as well, with Flavien Tait and Daniele Rugani missing with illness and a thigh injury respectively.

Yann Ghobo was a surprise starter at Stamford Bridge but is expected to cede his place to Jeremy Doku or Romain Del Castillo here, while Clement Grenier could replace James Lea Siliki in midfield.

Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Navas; Florenzi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Bakker; Gueye, Paredes, Herrera; Di Maria, Kean, Sarabia

Rennes possible starting lineup:
Gomis; Traore, Da Silva, Aguerd, Dalbert; Nzonzi, Bourigeaud, Grenier; Doku, Guirassy, Terrier

Source: SportsMole / Ben Knapton

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