The biggest news heading into Saturday’s French Super Cup (Trophee des Champions) clash between Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and Coupe de France winners Bordeaux in Gabon is the absence of Edinson Cavani and Marquinhos.
Two of PSG’s three expensive summer recruits miss out on the trip to Libreville because of the capital club’s failure to administer the correct vaccinations on time according to Le Parisien (h/t ESPN FC).
So the defending champions head into next week’s campaign opener at Montpellier with two new players still needing to be integrated into the side, having been unavailable to manager Laurent Blanc for the majority of pre-season.
Bordeaux have made very few changes to their squad. Veteran defender Jeremie Brechet arrived from Troyes (h/t Ligue1.com) and Lucas Orban joined from Club Atletico Tigre just before the team departed for Africa, as revealed by Girondins.com in English.
Francis Gillot’s side won the Coupe de France last season but were underwhelming in the league, scoring a measly 40 goals, the lowest total in the top half of the table.
However, Les Girondins travel to Gabon with a massively depleted side according to the official squad list (h/t ESPN FC). In particular, Cheick Diabate, who scored the winning goal in the cup final against Evian in May, misses out through injury.
PSG have only won two of the five editions of the French Super Cup since its inception in 1995 to replace the Challenge des Champions.
It is also the fifth consecutive time that the showpiece will have been held outside of France.
Given the under-strength Bordeaux side’s woes, PSG look comfortable pre-match favourites.
Here are the key battles to watch out for on Saturday.