Brest vs. PSG Ligue 1 Odds, Picks, Prediction, Preview: How to Back Mbappe & Co. (August 20)
Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images. Pictured: Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappé.
- Paris Saint-Germain will take on Brest in Friday's Ligue 1 match.
- The Parisians will be without Lionel Messi, who is still working his way into shape after making the move from Spanish power Barcelona.
- Jeremy Pond breaks down the match below and explains why he still likes PSG to cruise to the victory.
Brest vs. PSG Odds
|Over/Under||3.5 (+100 / -120)|
|Day | Time||Friday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||beIN SPORTS | fuboTV|
|Odds updated Thursday evening via DraftKings.|
Sorry, Lionel Messi and Paris Saint-Germain fans. You’re going to have to wait at least another week before your historic signing steps foot on the pitch.
However, life in Ligue 1 continues for manager Mauricio Pochettino and his club without the services of arguably the greatest soccer player ever when they square off against Brest at Stade Francis-Le Blé in northeast France.
The Parisians’ followers, as well as the Messi faithful around the world, were hoping he’d make the roster for this match, but Pochettino confirmed the former Barcelona star — and Neymar — were left off the squad. However, all signs point toward Messi dressing for next Sunday’s match at Reims.
Lionel Messi and Neymar won't travel with PSG to face Brest on Friday 🙅♂️
Fans will have to wait longer for Messi's PSG debut 😔 pic.twitter.com/eDjKtyrLmN
— Goal (@goal) August 19, 2021
As you probably guessed, things have been going just fine for PSG in light of Messi’s on-field absence since arriving at Parc des Princes. The Parisians are off to a 2-0 start, picking up convincing (but not overly pretty) victories.
Pochettino’s side is even on points with league leader Angers and newly promoted Clermont Foot, but currently sit in third place due to goal differential. So, a big road win against Brest could potentially vault the Parisians to top of the table.
That said, let’s take a look at what might be in store for this interesting match.
Solid Start Giving Brest Hope for Positive Season
Starting with two points and no losses should be considered a win for the Blues if you take into consideration how fortunate they were last season. The club floundered around the relegation zone much of the campaign, finishing just a point clear of Nantes and a berth in the relegation/promotion playoff.
Now with a clean slate ahead, things could potentially be looking up for the Blues after surprising draws against Rennes and Europa League outfit Lyon. Both matches ended in 1-1 stalemates, but manager Michel Der Zakarian has to feel a whole lot better where the club is now compared to where it was just a few months ago.
When it comes to advanced metrics, Brest more than held its own against two solid foes that should contend for top-six positions. Last time out, the Blues wound up with a 1.5-0.9 edge in expected goals, according to FBref.com. They lost the possession battle by a 59-41% margin, but held a 10-7 advantage in total shots.
Forwards Jérémy Le Douaron and Irvin Cardona have opened their accounts, recording goals for Brest. Now, they have unenviable task of trying to unlock the first-class PSG defense.
No Messi? No Neymar? No Problem for PSG
Casual soccer fans and hardcore PSG supporters were hoping they’d get their first taste of Messi in the French giant’s kit, but that won’t be the case. Instead, they’ll get to see a club minus two of its stars, but still chock full of firepower around the pitch.
Kylian Mbappé will lead the PSG attack, along with Argentinian international Mauro Icardi. The latter standout has scored in both matches, most recently getting the Parisians on the board in the third minute of last Saturday’s 4-2 win over Strasbourg. PSG held a 2.5-0.6 xG edge in the victory, but still conceded twice in the second half.
Pochettino hasn’t unveiled his lineup yet, but he should have the likes of Marco Verratti, Angel Di Maria and Gianluigi Donnarumma at his disposal. So, eventually adding Messi and Neymar to this juggernaut is simply an embarrassment of riches any manager in the world would love to enjoy.
Regardless of whom PSG sends out in its Starting XI, I fully expect the club to line up in its 4-3-3 formation, with Julian Draxler joining Mbappé and Icardi up top. Draxler struck in the 27th minute against Strasbourg, which only possessed the ball 36% of the time in the road defeat.
Betting Analysis & Pick
You have to give credit to Brest for getting off on the right foot. Those were quality draws to open the campaign, showing the Blues might be turning things around. Unfortunately for Brest, Rennes and Lyon aren’t PSG. And needless to say, this game could get ugly real quick.
The Parisians have dominated the series of late, going unbeaten in 19 consecutive meetings in league play. Making matters worse is the fact Brest has gone winless in 10 consecutive games against PSG on home soil.
That said, I’m turning to the Asian Handicap and backing PSG -1.75 on the spread line at -105 odds via DraftKings as my top selection. I have a hard time believing Brest is going to create any quality scoring chances in this spot, so I’ll take my chances of at least a 2-0 win for the visitors.
If you’re looking for a solid prop, take a swing on Draxler to score anytime at close to +300 odds. He has better value than Mbappé (-140) and Icardi (-110), so sprinkle a little on the German international to find the back of the net.
Picks: PSG -1.75 (-105) | Julian Draxler To Score Anytime — Yes (+280)