Paris Saint-Germain will be looking to bounce back from their defeat at Rennes when they resume their 2021-22 Ligue 1 campaign at home to Angers on Friday night.
Mauricio Pochettino's side are currently top of the table, six points clear of second-placed Lens, while Angers occupy fourth, having picked up 16 points during an impressive start to the season.
Angers are certainly capable of making this a very uncomfortable match for an under-strength PSG, but the home side will still have plenty of quality in their ranks. Pochettino's team will be desperate to bounce back from their defeat to Rennes, and we are backing the league leaders to put three points on the board.
PSG's 100% start to the new Ligue 1 season came to an end against Rennes before the international break, with Gaetan Laborde and Flavien Tait registering in a 2-0 victory for the home side at Roazhon Park.
The defeat was unquestionably disappointing, but it has still been a strong start to the 2021-22 campaign for the Paris giants, who are already six points clear at the top of their domestic table, and it would be a huge surprise if they were unable to finish at the top of the pile come the end of the season.
PSG were held to a 1-1 draw by Club Brugge in their Champions League group-stage opener on September 15 but then recorded a 2-0 victory over Manchester City at the end of the month, with Lionel Messi scoring his first and only goal for the club since arriving on a free transfer over the summer.
Pochettino's side will be without a number of important players on Friday, but they have won their last 10 league matches against Angers, including a 6-1 victory in the corresponding contest last term. Not since December 2015 have the capital outfit failed to beat their opponents here, which is an indication of the away side's task.
PSG have an important and indeed busy end to the month, facing Marseille and Lille in the league on October 24 and October 29 respectively, while they will continue their European campaign at home to RB Leipzig next week.
Angers, meanwhile, finished 13th in Ligue 1 last term, but an excellent start to the 2021-22 campaign has seen them collect 16 points from nine matches to occupy fourth position in the table.
Four wins, four draws and one defeat is how the team have performed in France's top flight this term, and they will enter Friday's contest off the back of a 3-2 win over Metz before the international break.
Angers' most disappointing result of the season actually came on their own patch, when they suffered a 4-1 loss to Nantes on September 19, and the Black and Whites are unbeaten on their travels this term, drawing with Bordeaux, Brest and Troyes, in addition to overcoming Strasbourg.
Head coach Gerald Baticle will be more than aware of the size of the task facing his team on Friday, but the fact that PSG will be missing a number of key players certainly opens the door for a potential shock result.
PSG had hoped to have Sergio Ramos available against Angers, but the centre-back has still not joined first-team training, so he is unlikely to make his debut here.
Layvin Kurzawa, Julian Draxler and Ismael Gharbi are also doubts, but there is a chance that Juan Bernat could be in the squad, having worked his way back from a serious knee injury.
PSG will also be without Messi, Angel Di Maria, Leandro Paredes, Neymar, Marquinhos and Keylor Navas due to international commitments, but Kylian Mbappe, Presnel Kimpembe and Marco Verratti should all feature, while there could be a starting role in midfield for Georginio Wijnaldum.
Angers will again be missing Zinedine Ould Khaled on Friday night due to a thigh problem, but the visitors are otherwise in strong shape heading into the clash in the capital.
Stephane Bahoken came off the bench to score his second league goal of the season against Metz before the international break, and the forward could be set for a return to the starting XI here.
Head coach Baticle is expected to stick with the majority of the side that took to the field for the first whistle against Metz, with 17-year-old Mohamed-Ali Cho featuring in the final third.
Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Hakimi, Kehrer, Kimpembe, Mendes; Gueye, Verratti, Wijnaldum; Mbappe, Icardi, Rafinha
Angers possible starting lineup:
Bernardoni; Manceau, Traore, Thomas; Cabot, Mendy, Mangani, Ebosse; Boufal, Bahoken, Cho