First ever face-off between PSG and Leicester City? Can the French Champions stay ahead?
StubHub Center, Carson, United States
Key Stat: 24. The number of goals that sharp-shooting forward Jamie Vardy bagged for his club last season. It was a remarkable year for the 29 year-old, a real breakthrough. The former Fleetwood Town striker used to play non-league. Now he’s a Premier League-winning England international about to take on one of the world’s biggest club sides. What a story. And one we can all see on the big screen soon - his tale is being adapted into a Hollywood movie.
Expert Verdict: Don't get us wrong, PSG are likely to be able to do the business here. And we wouldn't be surprised to see them put Leicester City away here. But the value is in opposing the short-priced favourites. 7/2 for a Leicester Win. By what score? Who can say, it's a friendly, after all. Multiple substitutions will muddy the waters. But let’s go out on a limb and say 3-2. We can certainly smell goals in this one.
New PSG boss Unai Emery will have been thrilled with how his charges played against Real Madrid recently in the International Champions Cup. The former Sevilla manager watched an impressive 3-1 demolition of the Champions League winners. Sure, he’ll want to continue seeing what his other squad players have here against English champs Leicester City, but he’ll also keep the faith somewhat. Especially in two-goal hero Thomas Meunier. The ex-Club Brugge right back made his debut for his new club against Real, replacing the injured Thiago Silva off the bench aft er ten minutes.
Jonathan Ikone also scored against the Spanish giants and should keep his place. It could be a big year for this youngster. Another good performance against Leicester and he could well break into the coveted first XI next season...
Trapp, Aurier, Meunier, Kimpembe, Kurzawa, Callegari, Ben Arfa, Stambouli, Georgen, Ikone, Cavani.
This time last year Leicester City were still recovering from an amazing last-ditch Premier League relegation survival. Their manager Nigel Pearson had quit and the unfancied Claudio Ranieri had replaced him to some consternation from the Foxes’ fans. Their preseason included games against lower league English sides like Lincoln City, Rotherham United, Burton Albion and Mansfield Town. One year on? They’re Premier League champions and looking forward to pre-season friendlies against the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona and, first up, Paris Saint Germain.
It looks as though former Chelsea boss Ranieri will keep with the team that saw off Celtic recently, swapping out only frontman Ulloa for Jamie Vardy and reserve goalkeeper Zieler for the club’s number one, Kasper Schmeichel.
Schmeichel, Amartey, Hernandez, Morgan, Chilwell, Mahrez, Mendy, Drinkwater, Albrighton, Gray, Vardy.
You won’t be hugely shocked to discover that this will be the first time that the team from the Midlands will face the French champions in their history. So we can’t look to previous results to give us any indication here as to what might go down, we’re afraid.
Like with all the games in this ICC, it’s tricky to pick a winner. PSG are very short odds and with good reason - they’re loaded with talent and coming off the back off a comfortable victory over Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid. But, should they change their line-up? Leicester could nick this. They’ve spent the past year upsetting the odds, why should they stop now?
If, like us, you can picture the Foxes upsetting the bookmakers here and you fancy Vardy & Co. to do the job, you can get them at very attractive odds indeed. 7/2, in fact (with some bookies). That looks like a nice price to us.