Paris Saint-Germain and Rennes square off in the 2019 Trophee des Champions this Saturday at 13:30 (CET).
Shenzen, China will host the annual Trophee des Champions game for the second time in a row, as PSG and Rennes go head-to-head at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre.
Les Parisiens won their sixth Ligue 1 title in the past seven years with a 16 point advantage above second-placed LOSC Lille.
Kylian Mbappe was the star of the 2018-19 campaign, netting 33 of PSG’s 105 league goals. He was the only player alongside Lionel Messi to find the net more than 30 times in the domestic championships.
The French champions will be seeking revenge when they meet Rennes in the 2019 French Super Cup on Saturday.
Rennes came back from a two-goal deficit in the 2019 Coupe de France Final against PSG and shocked the favorites in the penalty shootout to lift the French Cup for the third time in their history.
Brazilian star Neymar, who might be on his way out of Paris this summer did not feature for the club in the pre-season friendlies. He is also expected to miss the season opener against Rennes this weekend.
Prensel Kimpembe is also sidelined for PSG. He was the one who started Rennes’ comeback in the Coupe de France Final, netting an own goal five minutes before the end of the first half.
However, the new Parisians, Ander Herrera, Idrissa Gueye, Abdoul Diallo and Pablo Sarabia are all in line to make their debut for the French champion.
Rennes will start the 2019-20 campaign without ex-PSG star Hatem Ben Arfa, whose contract expired at the end of the last season.
They signed M’Baye Niang on a permanent deal for a transfer fee of €15 million, while Flavien Tait, who joined The Red and Blacks from SCO Angers this summer is expected to make his debut.
The stats are from the 2018-19 Ligue 1 campaign.
German coach in charge of Paris Saint-Germain, Thomas Tuchel says he is not interested in the opposition at all and do not believe in favoritism.
“I don’t believe in favouritism. I want our team to play as well as it can; that is the key for me. That the opposition is superior or inferior or has injured players… that doesn’t interest me,” Tuchel said via the PSG official website.
“We always play with our spirit and we want to win every title we are playing for. That’s what we want but we know that it’s not easy. Rennes want to win tomorrow as well. Our challenge is to always be at our best.
“To play well, attack fast, close down space, maintain our structure. We have a great chance to win, but we have to do it. Nobody has ever won anything just by talking. We have to put in all the ingredients.”
Rennes head coach Julien Stephan says he needs to get more players before the end of the summer transfer market, in order to have a more competitive team for the 2019-20 season.
“We lack players, of course, we will strengthen out team,” confirmed Julien Stephan to the French media.
“It’s necessary. We are strengthening in all areas of play, in all lines. We need to have experienced players, players who bring maturity and also personality to this workforce, which again, is certainly too young at the moment.”
Paris Saint-German have won 11 of the last 13 meeting with Rennes, losing only once in the regular 90 minutes.
The Parisians have scored at least two goals in seven of the last eight outings with the French Cup winners. They netted 31 goals in the last 10 games against Rennes, an average of more than three per match.
The Red and Blacks, on the other hand, also netted a goal in each of the last seven clashes with the big favorites.
They will be looking to win the Trophee des Champions for the second time in their history, while Paris Saint-Germain will try to lift the French Super Cup for a seventh successive year.
The last time the Super Cup was decided on penalties was back in 2012, when Lyon beat Montpellier 4-2 after the shootout at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, USA.