Shortly after 1 p.m. this Tuesday, the Parisians landed in Newcastle before training one last time on the pitch at Saint James’ Park at the end of the day, where all the announced players were present. Luis Enrique brought a group of 19 players which does not include the injured (Mendes, Kimpembe, Asensio), non-registered players like Ndour, Ekitike and Kurzawa, as well as Kang in-Lee, mobilized for the Asian Games with the southern selection -Korean.
When composing his starting lineup, the Spanish coach could return to classics. After blowing away several elements in Clermont (0-0), he should field a team close to or similar to the one which started against Dortmund (2-0 victory) on September 19. In a 4-3-3 pattern, Vitinha would return to his hybrid role in midfield, with Manuel Ugarte and Warren Zaire-Emery.
Sunday and Monday sessions focused on recovery
It is especially in front that doubt remains. Randal Kolo Muani has just played the last three matches as a starter for a goal scored at the forefront of the attack and two assists. Facing a team “that presses well and has good footballing ideas”, as Luis Enrique underlined at a press conference, the profile of the French international could be useful to take advantage of the spaces behind the defense. If he didn’t start this time, the number nine spot would go to Gonçalo Ramos to bring weight into the penalty area.
Another option not to be overlooked, that of a change of system as was the case during the last two PSG meetings. Against OM and Clermont, Luis Enrique aligned a hybrid 4-3-3 playing 4-2-4 or 3-3-4 in the offensive phase. In recent weeks, the Spanish technician has even worked on a 4-2-3-1 pattern in training. But since returning from Auvergne, the training sessions on Sunday and Monday have mainly focused on recovery. As is his habit, Luis Enrique did not carry out any setup during the last training session on the eve of the match and will only reveal his plan and the starters two hours before the start of the match.
On Wednesday evening, more than 52,000 spectators, including 2,105 Parisians, are expected in the venue. A victory on English soil would allow PSG to gain a little more ascendancy at the top of the group, Newcastle having launched their campaign with a draw two weeks ago at AC Milan (0-0).