Paris Saint-Germain head to the Groupama Stadium to face Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday knowing a win will see them move nine points clear of one of their biggest rivals going into the September international break.
PSG have enjoyed an unbeaten start to the season, winning six and drawing one of their first seven Ligue 1 Uber Eats matches and claiming six points out of a possible six in their UEFA Champions League group. That form saw them finish last weekend on top of the table, ahead of Olympique de Marseille thanks to a far superior goal difference, and they are level on points with Benfica in Champions League Group H ahead of a double-header against the Portuguese side next month.
However, the first cracks have started to emerge for coach Christophe Galtier over the last week, with PSG producing their least convincing performance of the fledgling campaign in beating Stade Brestois 29 at the Parc des Princes last weekend. They needed a Gianluigi Donnarumma penalty save in the second half to ensure a 1-0 win, while Presnel Kimpembe came off with a hamstring injury late on that will see him miss up to six weeks. That is a huge problem for Galtier given his lack of central defensive options and his decision to set his side up with a back three.
Paris followed that by coming from behind to win 3-1 away to Maccabi Haifa in Israel on Wednesday, with Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar Jr all scoring. Yet they needed their superstar front three to cover up another display that fell short of the very high expectations placed in Galtier’s side.