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PSG 2021-22 season preview - prediction, summer signings, star player

:Headline: PSG 2021-22 season preview - prediction, summer signings, star player:
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look ahead to Paris Saint-Germain's 2021-22 campaign, including predictions, summer signings and their star player.
Sports Mole

Entering the new season without a Ligue 1 title to defend, Paris Saint-Germain have major points to prove on the domestic and continental fronts during Mauricio Pochettino's first full season at the helm.

The nine-time French champions' perennial reign of league dominance came to an end last season as they were pipped to the post by Lille by a solitary point - marking just the second time in the last nine seasons that PSG have not scooped the trophy - and the pressure on Pochettino's shoulders could not be heavier.

However, having had a whole summer to mould this Parisiens team into his own vision - characterised by the astute acquisitions of four world-class names - PSG are out for blood this season, and their transfer activity has sent a stark warning to the rest of the league.

The capital giants did not kick off their competitive campaign in ideal fashion, though, as Lille claimed a 1-0 win over PSG in the Trophee des Champions - the season's curtain-raiser - on August 1.

Here, Sports Mole provides an in-depth preview of PSG's 2021-22 season and what fans can expect from Pochettino's new-look side over the coming months.


PSG will open their 2021-22 Ligue 1 season in an ideal manner, as they travel to newly-promoted Troyes on August 7 before expecting to complete a perfect opening month against Strasbourg, Brest and Reims.

The first real test for Pochettino's men comes in the form of Lyon's visit on September 19, and Marseille await in Le Classique a month later - followed by a blockbuster tie with champions Lille on Halloween.

Les Parisiens will also enter the month of May with Troyes and Strasbourg lying in wait once again, and they will round off what they will hope to be a title-winning campaign at home to Metz following an away trip to Montpellier HSC in the penultimate gameweek.

> Click here to see all of PSG's 2021-22 fixtures


Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma, Keylor Navas, Sergio Rico, Marcin Bulka, Denis Franchi, Alexandre Letellier

Defenders: Achraf Hakimi, Colin Dagba, Thilo Kehrer, Sergio Ramos, Marquinhos, Presnel Kimpembe, Timothee Pembele, Abdou Diallo, El Chadaille Bitshiabu, Layvin Kurzawa, Juan Bernat

Midfielders: Leandro Paredes, Idrissa Gueye, Danilo Pereira, Georginio Wijnaldum, Marco Verratti, Ander Herrera, Rafinha, Julian Draxler, Xavi Simons, Bandiougou Fadiga, Edouard Michut, Ismael Gharbi

Forwards: Pablo Sarabia, Angel Di Maria, Eric Ebimbe, Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi, Arnaud Kalimuendo, Kenny Nagera, Neymar

> Click here for full details of PSG's 2021-22 squad



Achraf Hakimi (£54m, Inter Milan)
Danilo Pereira (£14.4m, Porto)
Georginio Wijnaldum (free)
Sergio Ramos (free)
Gianluigi Donnarumma (free)

Mitchel Bakker (£6.3m, Bayer Leverkusen)
Alphonse Areola (loan, West Ham United)
Garissone Innocent (loan, Vannes)
Thierno Balde (loan, Le Havre)
Kays Ruiz-Atil (released)

Total spent to date: £68.4m
Total received to date: £6.3m

Net transfer balance: -£62.1m


With any chances of a summer exit this time around being slim to none, World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe is once again set to spearhead the Parisiens' attack for the fifth season running - not bad going for a 22-year-old.

Mbappe may not have been able to add to his quartet of Ligue 1 winners' medals last term - and the less said about his Euro 2020 form the better - but he simply eased to the Golden Boot with 27 strikes from 31 matches in the division, as well as scoring 15 goals from as many games in the Coupe de France and Champions League.

The striker's 2020-21 campaign may be best remembered for the evening where he made Camp Nou his playground during a 4-1 Champions League thrashing of Barcelona, but speculation over his future will dominate the talk of this season while his contract situation remains unresolved.

Mbappe has officially entered the final year of his deal with Pochettino's side and is understood to remain on the radar of Real Madrid, but he has recently talked up the prospect of Champions League glory with PSG, who would do well to prioritise continental success in a bid to keep the ex-Monaco man content at the Parc des Princes.


With the trophyless days at Tottenham Hotspur now a distant memory, Mauricio Pochettino enters the 2021-22 season with a cup double to his name from his first half-season at the helm, but the biggest prizes of them all eluded him.

It took the Argentine under a fortnight to secure his first piece of silverware as a manager with victory over Marseille in the rescheduled Trophee des Champions, and he oversaw a 2-0 victory over Monaco in the Coupe de France final to keep PSG's reign of dominance in that competition going.

Pochettino - once of Espanyol and Southampton - has already laid down a marker before the first kickoff of the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season, with his quartet of high-profile signings embodying that of a man who has revenge in his sights this term.

The ex-Spurs boss will hit the big 50 next year, and there would be no better way for him to celebrate that landmark than by returning PSG to where they belong domestically and securing that elusive Champions League crown, but he will need no reminding of what can happen to PSG managers who fail to live up to the board's high expectations.


PSG were up against it before the first whistle blew in the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season, as a coronavirus outbreak ravaged a Parisiens squad who suffered back-to-back defeats to newly-promoted Lens and great rivals Marseille in the opening two weeks of the season.

Results picked up over the autumn when Thomas Tuchel had most of his big-hitters back in the fold, but a stuttering run of form over the winter period ultimately cost the German his job in the dugout, with Pochettino coming in to salvage the second half of PSG's season.

Three home defeats on the bounce to Monaco, Nantes and Lille would seemingly scupper any fleeting hopes of a fourth consecutive Ligue 1 title, and while they ended the league campaign with six wins and a draw from their last seven games, Pochettino's side had to accept an unfamiliar second-placed finish.

PSG's fortunes on the European front finally appeared to be improving as Pochettino oversaw historic successes over Barcelona and then-Champions League holders Bayern Munich en route to the final four, but Manchester City's 4-1 aggregate win in the semi-finals kept PSG's agonising wait for European silverware going.

The biggest prizes went begging, but Pochettino's first managerial trophy came in the form of the Trophee des Champions back in January with victory over Marseille, and PSG's stronghold of the Coupe de France would also continue with a 2-0 win over Monaco in the final.


With managerial changes occurring all over the shop in Ligue 1 - none more so striking than those of title challengers Lille and Lyon - a sense of stability coupled with remarkable transfer business is the perfect recipe for success for PSG and Pochettino.

Two seasons without a Ligue 1 title is simply unfathomable for a club of PSG's stature nowadays, and with their Champions League dreams also taking precedence heading into the New Year, a faultless domestic run for the remainder of the calendar year must be the goal.

The 2020-21 Ligue 1 campaign was enthralling viewing for the neutrals, who were gripped by a four-way title race right until the final weeks of the season, but it is extremely difficult to look past this new-look PSG squad for a 10th national title.

VERDICT: Ligue 1 champions body check tags ::

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