Paris Saint Germain are set to kick off their seven day tour of the USA as they go up against Italian side AS Roma in their opening fixture of the 2017 International Champions Cup. Les Parisiens also go up against Tottenham Hotspur in Orlando and Champions League runners-up Juventus in Miami next week.
The capital club go into the tournament as reigning champions but this year has the making of a pivotal pre-season for Unai Emery. It was a slow start to the summer but new sporting director Antero Henrique has been busy in recent weeks, bringing in Dani Alves and Yuri Berchiche who have travelled to the United States with the rest of the squad, which leaves Emery needing to work out his best starting XI.
With the arrival of 34 year-old right back Dani Alves, questions have been raised on whether the Spaniard may be leaning back towards playing his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation, possibly playing Alves in a more advanced position. If Emery wants to vary from the typical possession-based 4-3-3 formation then this week is his prime opportunity to experiment with the squad
Unsurprisingly, Hatem Ben Arfa and Grzegorz Krychowiak were both left out of the squad which travelled to play in the ICC but none would have foreseen Serge Aurier being dropped, despite the introduction of Dani Alves.
Once the deadwood has been removed from the side, Les Parisiens can look at giving the young players in the squad more game time before the start of the new season. After the unfortunate departure of 20 year-old Jean Kevin Augustin, Goncalo Guedes – who has been given limited game time since joining from Benfica in January – will surely be given starts in this years ICC up front. Giovanni Lo Celso is another young talent amongst the squad who showed glimpses of his high potential end of last season.
Supporters have a lot more to look forward to this summer with Henrique reigniting the clubs interest in superstars Neymar and Alexis Sanchez whilst attempting to keep big names such as Marco Verratti at the club. But at this moment in time, all eyes are on how PSG get on in their tour of the USA.
Int’l Champions Cup Roma v PSG (Thurs 20, 1:00)*
Int’l Champions Cup PSG v Tottenham (Sun 23, 00:00)*
Int’l Champions Cup PSG v Juventus (Thurs 27, 01:30)*