Paris Saint-Germain vs Clermont

Paris Saint-Germain’s dress rehearsal for the upcoming Champions League meeting with Barcelona pits them against Ligue 1 basement boys Clermont at the Parc des Princes.

Back to Ligue 1 action fresh off overcoming Rennes 1-0 in their midweek Coupe de France semi-final tie, keeping their treble hopes alive ahead of a mouth-watering Champions League quarter-final showdown against Barcelona. Buoyed by four consecutive wins in all competitions and back-to-back clean sheets in the build-up to this fixture, Luis Enrique’s men will be out to make amends for a shock 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture. In contrast to that uneventful contest, this clash has a high-scoring theme written all over it, with both previous top-flight meetings between PSG and Clermont in Paris featuring over 3.5 goals (W1, L1), including an unfathomable 3-2 defeat in this fixture last term. Despite the odds, another upset is not off the table, considering three of PSG’s four most recent home league outings have ended level (W1).

Taking advantage of PSG’s tendency to share the spoils on home soil could turn Clermont’s wayward Ligue 1 campaign around. The visitors would gladly settle for a point in the most challenging trip in French football, not least because they start this round nailed to the bottom of the table, six points off the relegation playoff place. However, Pascal Gastien’s men have fared terribly on the road this season, picking up the division’s joint-low ten away points while netting the fewest goals (10). With that in mind, Clermont’s four-match winless league streak on hostile turf, accompanied by three failed attempts to get on the scoresheet (D1, L3), comes as no surprise. But as one of only three sides to have registered a shutout against PSG this Ligue 1 campaign, they’ll fancy their chances in the capital.

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