Lille – PSG – Friday 19.30 GMT
As usual in France, the champions open the season, and PSG are travelling an hour north to Lille on Friday evening for this first game of the new campaign.
It is not an easy trip for the Parisians but unlike last season, they seem on top form already. Their pre-season has been indeed impressive with victories over Manchester United in a friendly and Lyon in the Trophée des champions and a draw against Chelsea in another friendly. They have done some great work in Austria first and then in the US where they toured for three weeks.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic looked very sharp but injured his knee against Lyon and will miss the game on Friday evening. It is a big blow because of the importance of the Swede in the team. However, Paris have a perfect replacement in Edinson Cavani. The Uruguayan is not 100% ready yet as he came back later from holidays because of the Copa America but he has looked good with a goal in the Trophée des Champions. He will play in his favourite position on Friday, in the centre, and will try to impress.
Elsewhere, Laurent Blanc should be able to count on Thiago Motta. The Italian international is feeling better after a groin problem and despite wanting to leave the club, and he is ready to play. At the back, Thiago Silva is already in good form too, like David Luiz and Maxwell. At right back, Serge Aurier has been the best Parisian during the pre-season, but new signing Angel Di Maria is not in the squad after just joining the club.
PSG have a good record at Lille with two wins and a draw in their last three visits there. For the home side, the season could not start with a tougher opponent. New manager Hervé Renard saw some key players leave in the summer (Kjaer, Roux, Gueye) but he made some interesting signings too (Civelli, Obbadi). The key player for Lille will be their playmaker Sofiane Boufal. He is only 21 and only joined the club last January from Ligue 2, but he has a special talent and he will cause problems to the Paris defence.
PSG are used to starting their season slowly but I think they will get a winning start this year after the great form they have been showing in their pre-season.
The odds are massively in favour of PSG with an away win at 1.72. The draw is at 3.45 and a Lille home win is at 5.25.
Edinson Cavani is favourite to score first at 4.75 and my best tip is PSG to win both halves at 5.10.
Score Prediction: Lille 0 PSG 2 at 9.50