The man in Albiceleste colors came up trumps to tick off every box on his footballing CV, but international alliances will soon cease for PSG’s World Cup contingent as they return to Camp des Loges with the aim of successfully defending their customary Ligue 1 title.
A 5-0 thumping of Auxerre just before the World Cup break marked PSG’s seventh consecutive win in all competitions to see them maintain their unassailable lead over Lens, with Galtier’s side still unbeaten this season and taking 41 points from 45 on offer in Ligue 1.
The reigning French champions could now extend their unbeaten Ligue 1 streak at the Parc des Princes to a remarkable 30 matches since going down 1-0 to Lille in April 2021, and not many will be placing bets on a relegation-threatened Strasbourg team upsetting the apple cart.
With just one win to boast from all of their Ligue 1 games so far this season – a 3-2 triumph versus Angers, the only team below them in the rankings – Strasbourg are living very dangerously indeed and entered the World Cup break without a win in five competitive matches.
Les Coureurs can take pride in holding Marseille and this season’s surprise package Lorient to draws in that sequence, but they are still two points adrift of the safety of 16th place, and their only winter friendly ended in a 1-0 defeat to Feyenoord on December 13.
Atletico could have Rodrigo De Paul, Nahuel Molina, Angel Correa and Antoine Griezmann available for this match following their involvement in the World Cup final.
Griezmann could return to partner Alvaro Morata in the final third of the field, with Simeone set to make changes to the side that started in the Copa del Rey last time out.
Pablo Barrios and Thomas Lemar could drop out of the starting XI, but the same back three could remain in place, with Mario Hermoso potentially keeping his spot alongside Stefan Savic and Jose Gimenez.
As for Elche, John Donald and Jony Alamo will miss the contest due to leg and knee injuries respectively.
The visitors will be hopeful that Josan can shake off a muscular problem to feature in a wide area, while Pere Milla, Alex Collado and Raul Guti should also all start.
Lucas Boye has only scored one league goal this season, but the 26-year-old is expected to get the nod at the tip of the attack for the league`s basement side.
Possible starting lineup:
Data will be available at kick off time or sooner.
Atletico Madrid (56.5%)
Atletico Madrid 1-0 Elche
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