Paris Saint Germain vs Strasbourg

Fresh off their headline-grabbing acquisition of Lionel Messi, Paris Saint-Germain must get back to the nitty-gritty of winning football matches when they face Strasbourg at the Parc des Princes on Saturday.

It may be too early for the new Parisian hero to take the field, but PSG have plenty of other superstars in their ranks to try and pull off two wins out of two as they take on a team from Strasbourg currently in last place in Ligue 1.

Messi is just one of a catalog of stellar signings made by PSG this summer, as his goal is to regain the title after what his Qatari owners may see as the ignominy of losing to a smaller club.

One such transfer had an instant impact on the season opener: 60 million euro (50.1 million) right-back Achraf Hakimi landed a powerful blow to equalize after they surprisingly fell behind against Troyes. .

Mauro Icardi added a second two minutes later and PSG held on to the 2-1 victory, but there is much more to come from a team that expects big names like Neymar to return and new ones to take over.

It is important that manager Mauricio Pochettino get up to speed quickly this season, after a relatively disappointing start to his time in Paris.

There may have been some cutlery in the form of the Coupe de France, but losing to Lille on the final day of the season and losing 4-1 to Manchester City in the Champions League semi-final will not have equaled the nobleman. ambitions of those in the boardroom.

Meanwhile, Strasbourg, at the other end of the spectrum, is preparing for another season struggling to survive in Ligue 1.

Since returning to the top flight in 2017, Les Coureurs have not finished in 10th place and a lack of consistency last year saw them finish 15th, just two points from relegation.

However, hopes are renewed thanks to the appointment of new coach Julien Stephan, the 40-year-old manager who joins after an impressive season in Rennes, and signings such as Kevin Gameiro and Karol Fila.

That hope took a hit on the opening weekend after a 2-0 loss to Angers, the visitors produced a smash and grab performance and scored with two of their three shots on goal.

Fans know that those are the kinds of games Strasbourg will have to win, or at least avoid defeat if they want to have a more comfortable year, and a trip to the Parc des Princes seems less likely to provide their first points head start. the season.

PSG were left with sweeping 4-0 and 4-1 victories when the two teams met last season and are unbeaten in their 30 Ligue 1 home games against Strasbourg, a French top-flight record for a home team against a specific opponent.

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