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May 19, 2021 at 8.15pm UK
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Preview: Monaco vs. Paris Saint-Germain - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Monaco vs. Paris Saint-Germain - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Coupe de France clash between Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Amid a nail-biting finish to an extraordinary Ligue 1 season, Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain take a break from league action to battle for supremacy in Wednesday's Coupe de France final at the Stade de France.

PSG are the defending champions and are seeking a 14th title in France's premier cup competition, while Monaco have not lifted the trophy since the 1990-91 season.

Match preview

The ultimate prize in the form of the Ligue 1 trophy has passed Monaco by for another year, but a long-awaited piece of silverware in the form of the Coupe de France would be just reward for their incredible campaign under Niko Kovac.

Victories over Grenoble, Nice, Metz and Lyon preceded a semi-final showdown with fourth-tier side Rumilly Vallieres, who stunned Les Monegasques with a 20th-minute opener from Alexi Peuget, but Monaco's attacking powers soon came to the fore.

Arthur Bozon turned into his own net to level the scores seven minutes after Peuget's opener before Aurelien Tchouameni, Wissam Ben Yedder, Cesc Fabregas and Aleksandr Golovin wrapped up a 5-1 win for Monaco on their way to a first Coupe de France final since 2010.

The five-time Coupe de France winners suffered a painful extra-time defeat to PSG in the final 11 years ago and will be out for revenge this time around, even if they have already tried and failed to dethrone the perennial Ligue 1 champions in the French top flight.

Kovac's men head to the Stade de France on the back of a 2-1 triumph over Rennes in league action - one which saw them tighten their grip on third place - and with 10 wins from their last 11 in all competitions, Monaco ought to be brimming with confidence as they seek a first piece of silverware since 2017.

Standing in their way are the serial winners themselves. For all of their failures on the continental stage in recent years, PSG continue to sweep aside the competition domestically and are not resigned to second place in Ligue 1 just yet either.

While leaders Lille were being held to a goalless stalemate by Saint-Etienne on Sunday, PSG took advantage by sweeping aside 10-man Reims 4-0 at the Parc des Princes, with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Marquinhos and Moise Kean all on target for Mauricio Pochettino's side.

PSG have now cut the gap at the top to just one point as the Ligue 1 title race goes down to the wire, but they have a Coupe de France crown to defend in the meantime, and the capital side are seeking back-to-back triumphs in the tournament following last season's win over Saint-Etienne.

In fact, Les Parisiens have lifted the title five times in the last six seasons - with defeat to Rennes in the 2018-19 final representing their only failure in that time period - and having gone their last eight domestic games unbeaten, the wounded champions will be determined to sign off an otherwise underwhelming season with some more silverware.

However, PSG have already suffered two defeats to Monaco in league action this term, but they have won the last five Coupe de France meetings between the two sides without shipping a single goal - most recently thrashing Les Monegasques 5-0 in the semi-finals of the 2016-17 edition.

Monaco Coupe de France form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Monaco form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Paris Saint-Germain Coupe de France form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Paris Saint-Germain form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Monaco youngster Willem Geubbels is available for the final after serving a three-game suspension for his involvement in the mass brawl with Lyon, but Kovac is unlikely to consider the attacker for a starting role.

The veteran Stevan Jovetic has a chance of shaking off a calf injury in time for Wednesday, Kovac confirmed, but attacking midfielder Sofiane Diop is expected to remain sidelined with a sprained ankle.

Pietro Pellegri is nursing a back injury but was never likely to feature from the off, and barring the possible inclusion of Ruben Aguilar on the right-hand side for Gelson Martins, Kovac should elect to name a largely unchanged team for the final.

Radoslaw Majecki has garnered praise for his performances in the cup this term, and he will desperately hope to keep Benjamin Lecomte out of the team for the final.

In a huge blow to their chances of defending the crown, PSG will be without Neymar for the final, as the Brazilian attacker was booked for the third time in 10 matches in the semi-final win over Montpellier.

The champions will also be forced to make do without suspended centre-back Presnel Kimpembe for Wednesday's final, while Idrissa Gueye and Abdou Diallo are doubtful after missing out against Reims with gastrointestinal problems.

Julian Draxler is also expected to miss out after suffering a reported hamstring injury at the weekend, while Layvin Kurzawa and Marco Verratti will not play again this season.

With Neymar and Draxler both set to miss out, Mbappe could shift to the left-hand side as Kean leads the line, while Leandro Paredes should return to the engine room after coming on as a substitute against Reims.

Monaco possible starting lineup:
Majecki; Sidibe, Maripan, Badiashile, Henrique; Martins, Fofana, Tchouameni, Golovin; Ben Yedder, Volland

Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Navas; Florenzi, Marquinhos, Kehrer, Bakker; Paredes, Herrera; Di Maria, Rafinha, Mbappe; Kean

We say: Monaco 2-1 Paris Saint-Germain

Pochettino will undoubtedly be fearing for his PSG future if he cannot lead his side to a Coupe de France triumph, especially after a dismal Champions League exit and potential second-placed finish in the league, but a wave of new absentees is not what the Argentine needed before the final.

A near full-strength Monaco will certainly sense an opportunity as PSG field a team without the likes of Kimpembe, Verratti and Neymar, and while both teams still have work to do in their final league fixtures, we can envisage PSG's stronghold on the Coupe de France coming to an end as Kovac's side come up with the goods when it matters most.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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