PSG v St Etienne - Friday 19:45, BT Sport Europe
PSG welcome St Etienne to the Parc des Princes on the back of their first defeat of the season at the hands of Monaco. St Etienne played out a goalless draw at home to Toulouse last time out, but lost their only away game so far, 3-2 at Bordeaux. The defeat to Monaco was Unai Emery’s first since he took over and pressure is growing on the Sevilla man already, after a quiet transfer window and with Cavani struggling to fill the void left by Ibrahimovic’s departure.
St Etienne have been very consistent in recent years and last year’s sixth place was their lowest since 2011/12. In those five seasons they’ve faired significantly better at home where they’ve accumulated 52 more points. A large reason for this is that they don’t score with any frequency on their travels: in the 96 away games they’ve played in the last five seasons they’ve scored more than twice on only seven occasions.
A lot of pundits will point to the performance of the recently departed David Luiz as a major reason for PSG’s loss to Monaco. The Brazilian looked all at sea as he gave away a penalty before he was eventually substituted mid-way through the second half. He returns to Chelsea after two years in Paris where PSG were more successful when he wasn’t in the starting-eleven, winning 78% of games compared to 67% with him. Getting £30m for him could prove excellent business and Emery will be glad to have Thiago Silva back available for this one.
Recent meetings between the two sides point to a home win as PSG have won five of the last six since 2013/14. We think this trend will continue and are backing PSG to get back to winning ways with a win to nil, particularly as St Etienne lost and failed to score in four of their five trips to top-six sides last term.