All eyes will be on Neymar when Paris Saint-Germain host newly promoted Amiens for the opening game of the 2017/18 Ligue 1 season.
Exactly 11 weeks ago Paris Saint Germain’s Ligue 1 dominance came to an end when a young, dynamic Monaco side stole the headlines in France, but now there is a new man in France who has taken the whole country by storm. Neymar’s arrival has brought along the bandwagon and turned this season starter against Amiens into a must-see event.
That said, the €222 million man will not play in front of the Parc this weekend. A failure to deliver his International Transfer Certificate in time means Neymar will have to watch on from the stands as his new teammates look to get what looks like a reasonably simple job done, not that any attention will be taken away from the Brazilian with the kick off time being delayed for 15 minutes to present him in front of the Paris faithful.
AS Monaco – who should be up the right end of the table challenging for the title come May – got off to a winning 3-2 start against Toulouse last night and set an all too familiar tone of Paris playing catch up when they face Amiens.
The visitors were one of the story’s of the season in Ligue 2 back in May when they miraculously sealed promotion with the last kick of their entire campaign, bettering five other teams in the process. Staying up this season will be the ambition for the club from Northern France, in comparison to title favourites PSG. All signs point towards an easy opener of Les Parisiens despite their far from prefect early season record of the past which calls for concentration and if all headlines remain on Neymar after the match, the capital club got off to a good start in their quest to regain domestic dominance.
As far as team news goes, Neymar’s absence is the most notable and Javier Pastore is the likely candidate to fill the spot in the first team. Right-back Thomas Meunier will also miss the league opener through illness and Emery will have a tough decision on whether to start Rabiot or Matuidi in midfield this afternoon.
Predicted Starting XI
(4-3-3) Areola; Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa; Motta, Verratti, Rabiot; Di Maria, Cavani, Pastore
Subs: Trapp, Yuri Bechiche, Kimpembe, Matuidi, Nkunku, Draxler, Guedes
PSG 3-0 Amiens