<![CDATA[Just seven days before the start of the new Ligue 1 season, PSG and Lyon head to Montreal in Canada to contest the 2015 French Supercup. The two sides were by far the stand-out performers in the French top-flight last season and after contrasting fortunes in the build up to Saturday’s contest, it will be a chance for both sides to lay down a marker for the long season ahead.
Clean Sweep for PSG
2014-15 saw the club from the French capital conquer all before them claiming all the domestic trophies on offer, the League Championship, French Cup, French League Cup and the Supercup (which they will defend on Saturday). Coach Lauren Blanc (who recently signed an extension to his current contract), has so far managed to keep hold of all of his top performers from last seasonalthough big Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still subject of much speculation over a possible return to Italy to re-join AC Milan. The French giants have brought in reinforcements too. Midfielder Benjamin Stambouli arrives from Spurs and German goalkeeper Kevin Trapp has joined from Eintracht Frankfurt. The defence has also been strengthened by the arrival of Serge Aurier from Toulouse. The Parisians are also confident on landing Argentine midfielder Ángel Di Maria from Manchester United before next weekend’s big kick-off; a price of €65 million has been quoted. PSG arrive in Canada off the back of a successful tour to North America where they claimed the International Champions Cup trophy beating off competition from the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona and Chelsea.
Lyon continue to put their trust in youth
Lyon had a fantastic 2014-15 campaign finishing Ligue 1 runners-up behind Saturday’s opponents despite having a squad primarily made up of players from the clubs highly regarded youth academy. Coach Hubert Fournier has worked wonders with a team containing 17 players under the age of 25 and the 47-year-old tactician is set to keep things pretty much the same in 2015-16. It hasn’t been a summer for splashing out with only the purchase of 27-year-old striker Claudio Beauvue troubling the clubs accountants, arriving for a meagre €5 million from Bastia.Last weekend the seven-time French champions took part in the Emirates Cup in London where they were heavily beaten 6-0 by hosts Arsenal in their opening match and lost one of their key players to injury, after midfielder Clément Grenier was taken off with a thigh problem. Their second match against Villarreal was a vast improvement on Saturday’s performance despite a 2-0 defeat; overall, a weekend to forget for Fournier’s team.
PSG (4-3-3) Sirigu; Maxwell, David Luiz, Thiago Silva, van der Wiel; Matuidi, Stambouli,Verratti; Lucas Moura, Ibrahimovic, Cavani
Lyon(4-3-1-2) Anthony Lopes; Bedimo, Umtiti, Rose, Jallet; Ferri, Gonalons, Tolisso; Fekir; Lacazette, Beauvue
By Steve Mitchell (@barafundler)