Preview: Jeonbuk vs. PSG – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday’s friendly clash between Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Paris Saint-Germain, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Paris Saint-Germain conclude their preparations for the 2023-24 campaign with a short stopover in Busan to meet South Korea giants Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on Thursday.

While the hosts are taking time out from their domestic commitments to butt heads with the French champions, Luis Enrique‘s men are aiming to bounce back from a painful 2-1 loss to Inter Milan.

Match preview

Paris Saint-Germain manager Luis Enrique pictured during a press conference on July 5, 2023© Reuters

One of the dominant forces of South Korean football over the past 15 years, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors have collected nine top-flight titles since 2009, including five in a row between the 2017 and 2021 campaigns.

A 67-point haul in the 2016 season was also the best of its kind in the K League 1, but Jeonbuk were denied their customary title that year due to a bribery scandal, and the most recent campaign saw the Jeonju outfit pipped to the post by Ulsan Hyundai, who finished three points better off at the summit.

While the reigning champions are sailing off into the sunset once again, Jeonbuk are in uncharted territory in fourth place, having only gleaned 11 wins from their 24 contests so far this term, but their fortunes have improved since the appointment of Dan Petrescu as their new head coach.

Only the third foreign manager to take charge of Jeonbuk, Romania’s Petrescu – who represented the likes of Chelsea, Sheffield Wednesday and Southampton during his playing heyday – led his side on a five-game unbeaten run earlier this month, but that streak came to an abrupt end with a 2-1 loss to Pohang Steelers on July 21.

With no league commitments to concern themselves with during the final weekend of July, the hosts have had ample time to dissect that painful loss to the Steelers and will aim to follow in the footsteps of Cerezo Osaka as the second Asian-based outfit to upset the odds against PSG this summer.

Lionel Messi celebrates scoring for Paris Saint-Germain on May 27, 2023© Reuters

While new PSG head coach Enrique will certainly not be judged on his side’s pre-season form, the financial powerhouses have not seen another cash-splashing summer pay off so far, as a 2-1 loss to Inter marked a third exhibition match in a row without a win.

Following a 2-0 success over Le Havre and goalless stalemate with Al-Nassr, PSG continued their Japan tour with a shock 3-2 beating at the hands of Cerezo Osaka, but retribution appeared to be on the cards when Vitinha propelled the French champions into a second-half lead against Inter on Tuesday.

However, the Champions League runners-up responded with two late strikes from Sebastiano Esposito and Stefano Sensi, thus condemning PSG to back-to-back pre-season defeats, but Enrique cut a highly upbeat figure after the game as he lauded “a lot of positives” from his side.

Some disgruntled fans may feel differently, though, and Thursday’s game represents PSG’s final warm-up fixture ahead of their Ligue 1 opener versus Lorient on August 12, while the traditional curtain raiser – the Trophee des Champions – will instead take place in January against Coupe de France winners Toulouse.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors form (all competitions):

Paris Saint-Germain friendly form:

Team News

Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe during training on July 20, 2023© Reuters

Jeonbuk’s new Brazilian winger Andre Luis is currently in the treatment room with an unspecified complaint, but Petrescu should otherwise have all of his troops at his disposal for the visit of PSG, which comes three days before a league affair with Incheon United.

With the hosts flattering to deceive in domestic action so far, Petrescu will naturally be concerned about the prospect of injuries arising from a game with nothing on the line, but the Romanian will be expected to put out a strong starting XI capable of going toe-to-toe with Les Parisiens.

Six-goal top scorer Moon Seon-min came off the bench to net his side’s consolation goal against the Steelers and ought to be rewarded with a promotion to the first XI here, while three-cap Czech Republic international Tomas Petrasek is an option in defence.

As for PSG, the French champions departed for their Japan tour without contract rebel Kylian Mbappe, who is still resisting the club’s efforts to force him out of the door this summer and was left at home as a result – his younger brother Ethan Mbappe is in the squad, though.

PSG are rumoured to be working on the signing of Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele amid the Mbappe saga, while goalkeeper Arnau Tenas – who left Camp Nou earlier this year – has become the club’s latest summer arrival while Sergio Rico recovers from his head trauma.

Nordi Mukiele and Nuno Mendes also remain out of contention, while Neymar was an unused substitute against Inter, but the Brazilian could potentially earn a few minutes here as he steps up his recovery from an ankle problem.

A 48-hour turnaround should lead to a plethora of changes from Enrique, which could see South Korea international Lee Kang-in feature from the first whistle in his homeland.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors possible starting lineup:
Kim; Koo, Jeong, Hong, Choi; Han, Amano, Park, Moon; Silva, Gustavo

Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Hakimi, Pereira, Kimpembe, Bernat; Ndour, Verratti, Sanches; Lee, Ekitike, Gharbi

SM words green background

We say: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain

With a mere two days to recover from an energy-depleting defeat to Inter – not to mention the 600-mile trip from Tokyo to Busan – a rejigged PSG side should be far from their best on Thursday.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors have started to turn their fortunes around under Petrescu, but the hosts may also be pre-occupied with thoughts of their ongoing domestic campaign, and we have faith in Enrique’s side to cap off their pre-season preparations with a slender victory.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:curl

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