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May 23, 2021 at 8pm UK
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Preview: Brest vs. Paris Saint-Germain - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Brest vs. Paris Saint-Germain - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Brest and Paris Saint-Germain, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Paris Saint-Germain's stronghold on the Ligue 1 scene could come to a bitter end on Sunday, as they travel to relegation-threatened Brest for the final gameweek of the 2020-21 season.

Mauricio Pochettino's men remain one point behind Lille at the top of the rankings and must hope that their title rivals slip up to retain the crown, whereas Brest's poor form has seen them become embroiled in a fight for survival.

Match preview

A half-century of goals is a testament to Olivier Dall'Oglio's exciting approach in the Brest dugout, but those 50 strikes will count for little if Les Pirates suffer an unforeseen relegation from the top flight, as they are one of six sides battling to avoid an 18th-placed finish on the final matchday.

Brest and 10-man Montpellier HSC both struck the woodwork in their showdown during the penultimate gameweek, but the tie eventually finished goalless to leave Dall'Oglio's side fighting for their lives near the foot of the table, having previously been tipped as outside contenders for Europe.

While Nimes and Dijon have already been consigned to automatic relegation, the relegation playoff spot is still waiting to claim its victim, and 16th-placed Brest sit just one point clear of Lorient and Nantes, both of whom have found a rich vein of form at a crucial point in the season.

Dall'Oglio's side can only boast one win from their last nine attempts in Ligue 1 and welcome PSG to the Stade Francis Le-Ble on a four-game winless streak at home, with victory over basement side Dijon representing their only success in their last six at their headquarters.

A shock of seismic proportions against a fired-up PSG is surely off the table, so Dall'Oglio and co will be praying for results elsewhere to go their way lest they risk a relegation playoff battle against either Toulouse or Grenoble Foot 38.

PSG boss Pochettino finally got his hands on a long-awaited piece of silverware as his side produced the goods against Monaco in Wednesday's Coupe de France final, as Mauro Icardi and Kylian Mbappe struck either side of the half-time whistle to ensure that Les Parisiens would not end the season empty-handed.

For the past few seasons, PSG scooping the league and cup double has been expected before a ball is kicked, but unless Angers can prevent Lille from taking all three points in their battle with the Ligue 1 leaders, Les Parisiens will be consigned to an unfamiliar second-placed finish in the top division.

Pochettino's side have not let their heartbreaking Champions League exit affect them domestically as they stormed to a 4-0 win over Reims in their most recent league fixture - their fifth win in six league matches - but a spate of irregular home slip-ups throughout the season has left their title chances out of their hands heading into the final matchday.

PSG's last away fixture also ended in despair as tempers boiled over during a 1-1 draw with Rennes, but the champions secured six league wins on the road before that and will once again be led by the effervescent Mbappe, who seems destined to claim the Golden Boot for the third season in a row.

Les Parisiens downed Brest 3-0 at home earlier this term and have come up trumps in their last three away matches against Les Pirates, but a goal-laden performance this weekend will prove futile if Lille prevail during the climax to what has been a terrific advert for Ligue 1.

Brest Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D

Paris Saint-Germain Ligue 1 form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

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

Team News

Brest midfielder Jean Lucas was involved in a worrying car crash last week and was not available for the draw with Montpellier, but the Lyon loanee is only reported to have suffered minor injuries and could yet be involved on the final day.

The hosts will definitely be without Romain Philippoteaux, Paul Lasne and Christophe Herelle for the final day, and it would not be a surprise to see Dall'Oglio largely keep faith in the same XI from their draw with Montpellier, albeit with a beefed-up defence.

The Brest coach waited until the 90th minute to make his only substitution of the game last weekend - Romain Faivre off for Irvin Cardona - and the latter is pushing for inclusion over Gaetan Charbonnier, who came closest to breaking the deadlock against Montpellier.

PSG failed in their efforts to have Neymar and Presnel Kimpembe's bans overturned in time for the Coupe de France final, but both players are eligible to play on Sunday and should be welcomed back to the first XI with open arms.

The visitors will aim to usurp Lille without the injured Juan Bernat, Marco Verratti and Layvin Kurzawa, but Abdou Diallo and Idrissa Gueye recovered from stomach bugs to play the full 90 minutes against Monaco.

Colin Dagba and Julian Draxler could both earn starts on the final day, with Keylor Navas - controversially voted the league's best goalkeeper of the season over Lille's Mike Maignan - seeking his 16th clean sheet of the league season.

Brest possible starting lineup:
Larsonneur; Faussurier, Chardonnet, Duverne, Perraud; Honorat, Magnetti, Belkebla, Faivre; Mounie, Charbonnier

Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Navas; Dagba, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Bakker; Pereira, Paredes; Di Maria, Neymar, Draxler; Mbappe

We say: Brest 0-3 Paris Saint-Germain

An 18th-placed finish would symbolise a catastrophic collapse for Brest and their leaky rearguard, who may opt to shift to a more defence-minded formation in order to quell Mbappe and co.

However, the most staunch defence in Europe - barring Manchester City - would struggle to keep Pochettino's attacking forces quiet, and while Les Parisiens should win this one comfortably, Lille's expected victory over Angers would signal the start of a new reign in Ligue 1.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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 1.5:data

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