By Score More
What will be the lineup for PSG in the upcoming 2023/24 Ligue 1 season? As the new season approaches, significant changes are underway in the heart of the French capital. The landscape includes fresh acquisitions, a novel training facility, and, of utmost significance, a fresh manager at the helm of Paris Saint-Germain.
Luis Enrique, formerly in charge of Spain and Barcelona, aims to instill his attacking philosophy into a revamped PSG squad that is poised to take on Lorient at Parc des Princes. Consequently, what does the PSG lineup look like as they step onto the field for their first Ligue 1 match?
To begin, let’s address the prominent issue: Kylian Mbappé, the standout player, will undoubtedly be absent from Les Parisiens’ opening fixture. The French captain has not participated in preseason matches and has been undergoing separate training from Enrique’s primary selections. This is a result of the ongoing standoff between the Bondy-native forward and PSG’s administration over his contractual status. In a similar vein, Marco Verratti and Neymar might also be questionable for the season opener.
Furthermore, there are several new signings anticipated to join the eight already confirmed. Marco Asensio, secured on a free transfer from Real Madrid, has been joined in the attacking line by Gonçalo Ramos from Benfica. PSG’s midfield transformation is in progress, with the addition of Kang-in Lee from Mallorca and Sporting CP’s Uruguayan defensive midfielder Manuel Ugarte. In defense, Lucas Hernández from Bayern Munich has made a high-profile transition to Paris, while Inter’s Milan Škriniar has at last formalized his contract with Parc des Princes.
Alterations in Formation and Playing Style
3 days before facing Lorient at the 𝑃𝑎𝑟𝑐 𝑑𝑒𝑠 𝑃𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑐𝑒𝑠 ! 👊
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) August 9, 2023
During the preseason, Luis Enrique introduced a 4-3-3 formation (as anticipated), which is likely to remain consistent throughout the season. This marks a departure from Christophe Galtier’s pragmatic toggling between a 3-4-3 and 4-3-1-2 to accommodate Messi, Mbappé, and Neymar collectively.
Possession is paramount under Enrique’s guidance. Deliberate buildup commences from the back and advances through the field, with the central defenders substantially involved. Brazilian Marquinhos and new recruit Milan Škriniar are probable choices in the defense. This classic possession-centered approach will also likely involve a holding midfielder (either Ugarte or Danilo Perreria), flanked by two more advanced midfielders who propel the ball forward. One of these positions will possibly be occupied by Warren Zaïre-Emery, who consistently showcased his talents over the summer alongside Vitinha.
Bientôt le retour au championnat @Ligue1UberEats 💪🏻
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside) August 8, 2023
Preseason witnessed a change in the roles of PSG’s fullbacks. Achraf Hakimi was positioned further up the field on the right side, aiming to contribute more to the attack compared to the previous season. On the opposite flank, newcomer Lucas Hernandez assumed a more defensive role as a deep-lying left-back.
This leaves the pressing question of the forward line. With Messi, Mbappé, and potentially Neymar absent, how will Enrique arrange his options? One certainty is Marco Asensio’s involvement, occupying a false 9 position while Gonçalo Ramos acclimates. Preseason trials featured various combinations, including the inclusion of youth talents Ismael Gharbi and Noah Lemina on the flanks. However, it is increasingly probable that Carlos Soler will be entrusted on the right side. The left side is a bit more complex; Neymar would ideally be the primary choice, but if he misses the initial match against Lorient, Lemina might have the opportunity to step in.