Reims were doing great before the international break. Last round at Lorient (0-0) they couldn’t achieve full potential due to the climatic conditions so they did what they know best: defended.
They play a 4-5-1 system with emphasis on the wings every-time they attempt to create. The 3 central midfielders don’t adventure upfront that much. Their main contribution to the offensive phase is by long or through balls. On the other hand they are very involved in the defensive phase and few teams have the ability to bypass this 1st line of defense. The central midfield Devaux – Krychowiak – Oniangue is by far Reims’ strongest point.
Reims will welcome back fullback Turan and striker Charbonnier. While Charbonnier was injured Reims played with winger De Preville upfront. He was very comfortable in that position, scored, delivered assists, and in the same time allowed Reims to play with Fortes and Ayite on the wings. This formula worked for Reims, it did wonders. But now unfortunately Charbonnier is back and will most probably go straight into the lineup, moving De Preville back on the flanks and diminishing the offensive potential.
Many of PSG’s players were away on international duty this week. A bit of tiredness may have accumulated and in some cases it left a bitter taste (Ibrahimovic for example will miss the World Cup despite scoring twice against Portugal).
Ibrahimovic is not himself when playing away, he is an icon, an idol, and away from home there’s no one to idolize him. Away from home PSG scored a total of 10 goals and only 1 came from Ibrahimovic, while at home he scored 7 times. The difference is just mind blowing.
Since Thiago Silva returned from injury PSG are more solid in defense. With young Marquinhos on the bench there’s nobody left to make childish errors.
Central midfielder Verratti is doubtful, but PSG have enough options available.
They may very well win it, but odds on PSG are way too low. Instead, considering the defensive stability of both sides, Reims playing with Charbonnier upfront and Ibrahimovic feeling uncomfortable, under 2.5 goals at 1.92 is the best choice.