PSG vs Rennes Live Final Football Match 2023
Paris Saint-Germain head into Saturday’s Trophee des Champions final against Rennes looking to put a summer of uncertainty off the pitch behind them. Despite his future being the constant topic of debate, Neymar currently remains at Parc des Princes, although there is still time for the Brazilian to return to Barcelona. The Ligue 1 champions are still expected to make incomings of their own as they look to strengthen ahead of another attempt to win the Champions League. Seeking to maintain or increase their 10-point lead at the top of the Ligue 1 table, champions Paris Saint-Germain welcome Rennes to the Parc des Princes on Sunday afternoon. Christophe Galtier’s men left it late to sink Brest 2-1 last time out, while the visitors were thwarted in a goalless stalemate with Auxerre. Still reeling from their latest premature Champions League exit, PSG were on the verge of dropping more points in the 2022-23 Ligue 1 season away to relegation-threatened Brest last weekend, but their all-time leading goalscorer was there to bail them out of trouble once again.
A thunderous opener from Carlos Soler preceded a Franck Honorat equaliser for Brest, with one long ball over the top doing the damage against PSG, but with 89 minutes gone, Kylian Mbappe beat the offside trap from Lionel Messi’s pass, skipped past Marco Bizot and slotted home into an empty net. While there is a familiar sense of post-European dread around the Parc des Princes, PSG have at least managed to increase their lead at the top of the Ligue 1 standings into double digits, having seemingly faced the prospect of an actual title race with Marseille and Lens at one stage. Top-flight glory may be the only silver lining for Galtier in his debut season, as the axe hovers dangerously above the head of the former Lille coach ahead of an expected sacking this summer, but maintaining PSG’s extraordinary Ligue 1 home run is the sole focus for the under-fire coach at present.
In fact, Galtier was the most recent manager to beat PSG at the Parc des Princes in Ligue 1 – prevailing 1-0 with Lille in April 2021 – but since then, the champions have not lost in 35 top-flight home matches, scoring in all of them bar a 0-0 draw with a Galtier-led Nice in December 2021. Looking the more likely to concede in the first half, Rennes could not consign last week’s trip to Auxerre to history quickly enough, as neither set of supporters got their money’s worth in a drab goalless draw. Failing to score for the second game running after going down 1-0 to Marseille at the beginning of the month, a podium finish is becoming more and more fanciful for Bruno Genesio’s side, who have also failed to adequately recover from being knocked out of the Europa League by Shakhtar Donetsk.
Amassing just two wins from their last six Ligue 1 contests, Les Rouges et Noir have slipped to fifth place in the standings – four points behind Monaco and a further seven adrift of third-placed Lens – while Lille are only one point worse off and can kick Rennes out of the continental places by the close of play this weekend. One slight positive from the draw with Auxerre was a third clean sheet in four Ligue 1 contests for Rennes, but only three of their last 15 away games in the top flight have ended in victory – hardly form befitting that of a side dreaming of a return to the Champions League.
Rennes served PSG a slice of humble pie with a 1-0 win over Galtier’s men at Roazhon Park back in January, and the champions can boast just one win from their last four against Rennes, so neither history nor injuries are on their side as they endeavour to keep the walls of the Parc des Princes fortress intact. With Neymar and Presnel Kimpembe already out for the season, PSG’s 2023 injury crisis has only gone from bad to worse, as none of Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos, Carlos Soler, Nordi Mukiele or Marquinhos was able to train fully on Friday.
Ramos will certainly be missing with his fresh calf problem, while Hakimi, Marquinhos and Mukiele’s expected absences will further limit Galtier’s defensive options, so the stage is set for 17-year-old El Chadaille Bitshiabu to come into a makeshift backline. Either Vitinha or Renato Sanches can expect to fill the void left by Soler if the Spaniard’s muscular problem renders him unavailable, although PSG are supposedly open to letting Sanches depart following an injury-hit maiden campaign in Paris. Similarly, Rennes have a star attacker of their own out for the rest of the season in Martin Terrier, while Jeremy Doku is also dealing with a hamstring problem and may not return until after the international break.
Xeka (ankle) and Lorenz Assignon (knee) will also sit this one out, while teenage midfielder Desire Doue is battling to overcome an illness, but Genesio will at least be boosted by the return of centre-back Warmed Omari from suspension. Omari should look forward to an immediate recall to the backline against the champions, but Tottenham Hotspur loanee Djed Spence was withdrawn at half time against Auxerre, so the experience head of Hamari Traore may be preferred on Sunday.