Quick Bit: Lionel Messi has not yet returned from World Cup duty, while Neymar is suspended, leaving Kylian Mbappe to carry PSG into 2023, something he’s done often over the past few years.
You would be forgiven for not realizing that Lens vs PSG on New Year’s Day was, in fact, the table-topping match in Ligue 1 as No. 1 PSG take on No. 2 Lens in northern France.
The French top flight rings in 2023 with a heavyweight bout, with Lens sitting seven points back of the leaders.
The match represents a huge opportunity for Lens who get PSG without two of their big three stars. Lionel Messi has not yet returned from World Cup duty, while Neymar is suspended after being sent off in the last match. That leaves Kylian Mbappe to carry PSG into 2023, something he’s done often over the past few years.
Mbappe led the way last time out with his 91st-minute penalty as 10-man PSG edged past Strasbourg 2-1. PSG have not dropped league points since a 0-0 draw with Stade de Reims on October 8.
The Sporting News will be following the match live and providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.
Lens vs PSG live score
Lens vs PSG live updates, highlights, commentary
107 mins to kick: Along with Mbappe’s European-leading goals tally in 2022, PSG led all European Big Five sides in points collected over the 2022 calendar year. The French side just needs to translate it to the Champions League now!
120 mins to kick: PSG will be without Lionel Messi and Neymar, but they’ll have their most important player Kylian Mbappe on hand. As the calendar turns to 2023, Mbappe’s goals tally across the previous calendar year is cemented as tops of any player in Europe.
Lens vs PSG lineups & team news
Lens have a number of injuries to contend with. Most notably, bright young attacker David Costa will miss the match due to a shoulder injury that’s kept him out since the league returned from its World Cup break.
There could be an injury problem for defender Facundo Medina as well after he came off in the 64th minute against Nice last time out, but he’s expected to have recovered. Polish forward Adam Buska has only logged 59 league minutes this season thanks to a nagging ankle injury.
Wuilker Farinez and Jimmy Cabot are long-term absentees with ACL tears.
Lens projected starting lineup (3-5-2): Samba (GK) — Gradit, Danso, Medina – Frankowski, Fofana, Samed, Machado — Sotoca, Openda, Said.
Lens subs (9): (Lineups released one hour prior to kickoff)
PSG are without both Lionel Messi and Neymar, as Kylian Mbappe must carry the load in the attack. Messi has not yet returned from World Cup action, but will do so this week and could be available in short order. Neymar, meanwhile, is suspended for this match after he was sent off against Strasbourg for diving.
Carlos Soler is likely to start up front, while manager Christophe Galtier will have to choose between Pablo Sarabia and Hugo Ekitike for the other spot in attack.
Also missing are injured defensive duo Nuno Mendes and Presnel Kimpembe, who were both stricken during World Cup duty.
PSG projected starting lineup (4-3-3): Donnarumma (GK) — Hakimi, Marquinhos, Ramos, Bitshiabu — Vitinha, Verratti, Danilo – Ekitike, Soler, Mbappe.
PSG subs (9): (Lineups released one hour prior to kickoff)
How to watch Lens vs. PSG
Sun, Jan. 1
Sun, Jan. 1
Sun, Jan. 1
Mon, Jan. 2
BT Sport 1
beIN Sports 1
BT Sport site/app
Foxtel Go, Kayo
UK: Monday’s match between PSG and Lens from Stade Bollaert-Delelis in northern France will be broadcast in the United Kingdom by BT Sport, with streaming also available.
USA: Ligue 1 is broadcast all season long in the United States by beIN Sports, which is available to stream via fuboTV.
Canada: Ligue 1 is broadcast all season long in Canada by beIN Sports, which is available to stream via fuboTV.
Australia: Ligue 1 is broadcast all season long in Australia by beIN Sports, with this particular match shown on beIN Sports 1.
Lens vs. PSG betting odds and lines
PSG are understandable favorites, as Ligue 1 leaders and the best team in France by a significant margin, but their odds aren’t as lopsided as one might expect with both Messi and Neymar missing, and the opponent sitting in second place.
Lens have not lost since an October 9 defeat to Lille, and have dropped points in just one match since, a 0-0 draw their last time out against Nice.
Both teamsto score Y / N
-160 / +115
1.58 / 2.10
Over / Under2.5 goals
-140 / +100
1.75 / 2.05
Originally found on Sporting News Read More