The central midfield was the most important part of the team for Reims, with Polish international Krychowiak being a key payer. Now Krychowiak transferred-out at Sevilla so it will be interesting to see how Reims will manage without him.
With Oniangue, Devaux and Albaek the central midfield in 3 is still powerful. Furthermore they have transferred-in Bourillon from Lorient, a solid and versatile player who can be used both in central midfield and central defense.
Last season Reims had to do without winger Diego for most of the games and were never that impressive in the offensive phase. That was in fact the sole thing dragging them down, seeing they looked very decent in defense. From this point of view this season can only get better since defensively they look the same (even if central midfielder Krychowiak left) and upfront they can count on Brazilian Diego from the 1st round.
Reims also transferred-in attacking player Moukandjo from Nancy but he is suspended against PSG.
Central defender Tacalfred missed a few friendlies but should be available against PSG.
Although they have played only 1 official game so far, the situation at PSG is a bit worrying. They have conceded many goals in the pre-season friendlies and even if those games aren’t really that relevant, conceding 10 goals in 5 games against less than average opponents should really ring some alarm bells.
Against Guingamp in the French Supercup they have managed to keep a clean sheet (won 2-0) only because Guingamp missed a penalty. They were without a couple of regulars: Maxwell, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Lavezzi, Matuidi and Cabaye who could all return to the lineup.
But the thing is central defender Marquinhos will play whenever Silva or Luiz will miss and we should expect many decisive errors. The same happened last season, and as we could see against Guingamp (Marquinhos easily gave away a penalty), things haven’t changed. He may be a skilled player but the attitude is far from professional.
During the transfer window PSG lost central defender Alex and fullback Jallet. On the other hand they transferred-in David Luiz from Chelsea and Aurier from Toulouse to cover the same positions.
Many of PSG’s players (the ones who participated at the World Cup) are still in vacation mode. Adding to that the defensive changes, central defender Marquinhos’ superficiality (may play instead of tired Silva or Luiz) and the fact that PSG failed to mobilize and win the opening games in the last two seasons, we realize this game should be much more balanced than the odds suggest.
Reims +1.25 at 1.97
UPDATE: Reims will central defender Weber, forward De Preville and fullback Turan due to injury. For PSG, Maxwell, Matuidi, Lavezzi, David Luiz and Cabaye were left to rest. Same bet
Reims: Agassa, Placide – M.Fofana, Tacalfred, Mandi, C.Glombard, Signorino – Devaux, Albaek, Ca, Oniangue, M’Fulu, Bourillon, Diego – Fortes, Atar, Charbonnier, Courtet
PSG: Sirigu, Douchez, Maignan – Van der Wiel, T.Silva, Marquinhos, Digne, Z.Camara, Aurier – Chantôme, Lucas, Pastore, T.Motta, Verratti – Ongenda, Bahebeck, Cavani, Ibrahimovic