Paris Saint-Germain and Brazilian superstar Neymar face their “first big test” of the the season on Friday at home to Saint-Etienne as both sides hunt a fourth straight win.
Neymar dazzled in his Parc des Princes debut last weekend, scoring twice as he tormented Toulouse defenders throughout a crushing 6-2 victory, but Saint-Etienne are the only team yet to concede this season.
Former Barcelona midfielder Oscar Garcia is enjoying an extended honeymoon period having replaced the long-serving Christophe Galtier as Saint-Etienne coach in June, with his side collecting maximum points to sit level at the top with PSG and champions Monaco.
“It’s a first big test for us against Saint-Etienne,” said PSG coach Unai Emery. “They have already put in some good performances and picked up nine points.”
Saint-Etienne snatched a last-gasp draw on their most recent trip to Paris and captain Loic Perrin says they have nothing to fear this weekend.
“We’ve been lucky to start the season well. We’re going to Paris with not much to lose. When you see their squad it’s another world,” said Perrin, adding there was no particular plan to subdue Neymar.
“Neymar is an exceptional player who is one of the top three in the world and it’s exciting to measure yourself against such a player.
“It’s becoming harder and harder when you play Paris and it’s the same for everyone. You have to believe you can pull off an upset and anything is possible in a match if lots of things go your way.”
PSG are still without injured Brazilian winger Lucas while Marco Verratti is suspended following his dismissal against Toulouse.
Unsettled Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe drew the ire of a section of the club’s hardcore supporters on Tuesday as speculation intensifies over the teen sensation’s future.