All eyes are on Europe this weekend, with domestic cup competitions in Spain, Germany and Italy all due to come to an end. Over in France, Olympique Lyonnais and Paris Saint-Germain are set to contest a highly-anticipated title showdown.
Lyon have been the dominant force in the Division 1 Féminine for some time, racking up a stunning 14 titles in succession. During this period, the club also won the Champions League a record seven times.
It is fair to say Lyon have been ruling supreme in women’s football, but their reign could soon be over. For the first time since 2005, they look set to finish the season trophy-less.
PSG are currently one point clear of Lyon in Division 1 Féminine, with two games still to play, including tonight’s grudge match. Both sides are expected to win their final clashes against Dijon and Fleury 91 next week, meaning tonight’s game is essentially a title decider.
Lyon must win at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais to keep their incredible domestic record alive. Will they do it?
Lyon’s inner turmoil
As Chelsea’s victory in the men’s Champions League showed, changing manager mid-season can work for some. Lyon will be hoping their decision to sack Jean-Luc Vasseur last month will be as equally successful.
The side seem to be settled under new manager Sonia Bompastor, a former captain of the French national team, but managerial changes can still cause turmoil. The announcement that star player Saki Kumagai would be leaving to Bayern Munich at the end of her contract must have also been disruptive.
In comparison, PSG manager Olivier Echouafni has been in charge since 2018 and his team are well used to his playing system. Could this have some impact in the title decider?
The balance of power in the Division 1 Féminine has really shifted in PSG’s favour this season. Lyon have only lost once all season, but it was a 1-0 defeat to their Parisians rivals back in November.
It was PSG that also ended Lyon’s hopes of an eighth Champions League title. The French sides came up against each other in the quarter-finals of Europe’s flagship competition.
Lyon won the opening leg in March 1-0, but PSG hit back in the second leg, triumphing 2-1 and progressing to the semi-finals on away goals. The team have been a constant thorn in the side of Lyon this season – will they be victorious once again?
Key players to watch
As expected from two of the top teams in Europe, the PSG and Lyon sides are bursting with talent.
PSG’s Marie-Antoinette Katoto is the joint top-scorer in Division 1 Féminine this season. The young French star and Bordeaux’s Khadija Shaw have both hit the back of the net 21 times so far. Kadidiatou Diani and Nadia Nadim join Katoto in a formidable attacking trio.
The world class Christiane Endler tops the table for the most clean sheets this season, preventing the opposition from scoring an incredible 17 times. PSG are as solid defensively as they are exciting up front.
Nikita Parris has been Lyon’s most potent attacking threat this year. The English forward has scored 11 times. Dzsenifer Marozsán has been the team’s creator, racking up a season-leading 13 assists.
Wendy Renard has continued to prove why she is one of the world’s best defenders. Alongside her impressive work in front of goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi, Renard has also popped up with nine goals this campaign.
PSG and Lyon will kick off at 8pm UK time. It is available to watch on BT Sport 1.News Now - Sport News