Who is playing for PSG versus Lens on Sunday, Jan. 1?

Paris Saint-Germain v ESTAC Troyes - Ligue 1 Uber Eats
Paris Saint-Germain v ESTAC Troyes - Ligue 1 Uber Eats / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

PSG goes on the road to face second-place Lens in their last game of the 2022 year. The French Ligue 1 doesn't stop for the New Year festivities with games scheduled on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 and PSG appearing in the night game of New Year.

With a win already in their bag after returning from Qatar, PSG enters Sunday (and 2023) having defeated Strasbourg 2-1 with a last-minute effort from Kylian Mbappe on the first-ever French Boxing Day.

The club from the French capital will have to deal with the absences of Lionel Messi (still celebrating his World Cup title in his native Argentina) and Neymar (about to go partying in Brazil after getting sent off last Wednesday).

Knowing how poorly youngster Hugo Ekitike has performed for PSG since arriving in Paris last summer, everybody expects Christophe Galtier to move on from the kid.

PSG is expected to use more established (albeit probably not much better) players in the vein of Pablo Sarabia and Carlos Soler up front against Lens next to Kylian Mbappe.

There will be no changes on the goal with Gianluigi Donnaruma still having a strong hold of the GK1 role.

Something similar will probably take place in the middle of the pitch as all three of Marco Verratti, Vitinha, and Fabian Ruiz have been starting and playing most of the minutes for PSG in the midfield line of the pitch.

Things might get a bit shuffled on the defensive line, though. Galtier sounded very convinced of titi El Chadaille Bitshiabu's capabilities on defense, so let's not rule out a second start in a row by the youngster on the left with Juan Bernat still recovering from his issues.

Marquinhos and Sergio Ramos are locks on the middle of the D-line with no better (or actually, no actual alternatives, literally) options on that part of the formation.

On the right, Achraf Hakimi should make his first start of the year after returning from the World Cup, even more considering PSG plays a Round of 64 French Cup game after this match on Jan. 1.

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That'd mean a benching for Nordi Mukiele, who has been fantastic during the December friendlies and the first game back last Wednesday. Maybe, just maybe, he starts on the left? We'll have to wait to see what Galtier ultimately comes up with.

Neymar misses this game after a foolish send-off last Wednesday and Marco Verratti (three yellow cards) won't be available for PSG in their French Cup match scheduled for next week.