OUR man in France is Julien Laurens and he's looking at PSG v Strasbourg.
Julien is a London-based sports correspondent for Le Parisien and a veritable French football expert. He writes in French and English for a number of esteemed publications and is a regular on BT Sport as well as contributing to Unibet.
PSG v Strasbourg (Sat 4pm)
Paris SG host Strasbourg on Saturday afternoon at the Parc des Princes, four days after their disappointing defeat away in Madrid in the Champions League last-16 first leg (3-1). The players were really hurt by the loss, which came in the last 10 minutes of the game. They made mistakes and paid the price of their inexperience.
Paris need to bounce back in the league now to prepare as well as possible for the second leg in three weeks’ time. Manager Unai Emery will rotate his starting XI for this game. Kylian Mbappé is suspended anyway, while Thiago Silva, Thiago Motta, Javier Pastore and Angel Di Maria could all start on Saturday.
Some players are not happy with Emery’s choices against Madrid, both before and during the game. The atmosphere in the dressing room is not good at the moment and Paris can’t let that disturb their league form. They are top of the table, 12 points clear of Monaco in second.
Edinson Cavani will start up front but he has not been as effective lately as earlier in the season. He was subbed off early in midweek and he was not happy about it. So he will be hungry to show Emery that he got it wrong to take him off. Paris have not dropped a point at home all season and their record in the capital against Strasbourg is fantastic (20 wins and 6 draws).
For Strasbourg, this game is almost mission impossible. They have never won in Paris and have not been that good away from home in Ligue 1 this season (two wins, three draws and seven defeats and only 10 goals scored).
But Strasbourg have surprised French football betting experts this season. They are 13th in Ligue 1 and actually were the first team to beat Paris this term, in the reverse fixture. They will play the same way, very deep, on the counter. They were extremely clinical in the first game, both defensively and offensively. However, this time they will be beaten in Paris.