Monaco - PSG
This is the first domestic final in France this season, the League Cup final between PSG and Monaco at the Parc OL in Lyon on Saturday evening. The two best teams in the country face each other in their first battle for silverware this campaign. Monaco are top of the Ligue 1 table, three points clear of Paris and both clubs are also qualified for the French Cup quarter finals this month. This final and the psychological consequences for the winner and loser could have a huge impact on the rest of the season.
PSG have won the last three French league cups but there is still a big question mark over how much they have recovered from the humiliating defeat at Barcelona three weeks ago and their exit from the Champions League. They are still struggling for confidence as we saw in their two games since their trip to Spain, with two shaky wins at Lorient and against Lyon. They are not serene but they have not sunk totally either. They have failed to beat Monaco this season (3-1 defeat over there and a 1-1 home draw in the two league matches) and they want their revenge this time around.
Marquinhos is out after picking up a small injury with Brazil in the international break and it’s a huge blow for Paris. Thiago Silva and Presnel Kimpembe will start in central defence. Thomas Meunier is training normally after his ankle injury and should start like Javier Pastore, despite him not training on Wednesday. Edinson Cavani will be the key player for Paris once more. He has scored 37 goals in 38 games in all competitions so far this season and the team depends on him hugely.
For Monaco, this is the first chance of silverware since 2010 and a French Cup final loss against PSG! Their last trophy was 14 years ago, in 2003 with a French League Cup win. They are hungry for a trophy and this young team has been incredible all season, with 129 goals scored in all competitions, still qualified in four competitions (if you add the Champions League) and not showing any signs of tiredness or nerves.
Radamel Falcao and Djibril Sidibé are both doubtful, although the Colombian striker could be fit enough to start on Saturday. The big blow for Monaco is the absence of Fabinho in midfield. The Brazilian, excellent all season, is suspended. Kylian Mbappé, however, the prodigy, 13 goals in his last 9 games with Monaco, will start up front in their usual 4-4-2 formation and will be a huge threat for Paris. I think it will be fascinating game, tactically and technically but I think PSG’s experience will make the difference.
The odds are in favour of PSG with a win at 2.10. The draw is at 3.55 and a Monaco win is at 3.50.
Edinson Cavani is favourite to score first at 4.40. My best tip is PSG to win and both teams to score at 3.90.
Score prediction: Monaco 1 PSG 2 at 9.00