One of the biggest soccer stories over the holiday period was Thomas Tuchel's dismissal as Paris Saint-Germain boss and Mauricio Pochettino's subsequent appointment as head coach -- when it was finally made official.
The Argentine has been getting to know his new squad since Sunday's return to training and Wednesday's trip to AS Saint-Etienne will be Pochettino's second Parisien debut but first as a tactician and not a player.
The 48-year-old former Tottenham Hotspur manager has inherited a PSG side third in Ligue 1 just one point behind the top two of Olympique Lyonnais and Lille OSC, but four points clear of Stade Rennais and Tuchel already oversaw four Championnat defeats since the start of the season.
ASSE are hardly the most daunting opponents given that they have won just once in 14 league matches but coach Claude Puel will know Pochettino from their time together in the Premier League and returns to action after the winter break are never easy -- especially after a change of boss.
The South American needs to hit the ground running with his first chance to win some silverware coming up next week when they face Olympique de Marseille in the Trophee des Champions in Lens and he has ASSE and Stade Brestois 29 to start getting his message across to his new players.
Here is how you can watch the match and what to know:
- Date: Wednesday, Jan. 6 | Time: 15:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Stade Geoffroy-Guichard -- Saint-Etienne, France
- TV: beIN Sports USA
- Live Stream: FuboTV (try for free)
- Odds: ASSE +700; Draw +400; PSG -275 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Puel is lucky to still be in a job after a run of one win from 14 Ligue 1 games that saw a sequence of seven consecutive defeats between late September and November.
Saint-Etienne are now unbeaten in six but that upturn in form has only produced one victory and that was away against a highly unpredictable Girondins de Bordeaux side that relies heavily on the mercurial brilliance of an ageing Hatem Ben Arfa.
The sacking of popular former goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier has hardly aided the atmosphere surrounding the club moving into 2021.
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Having struggled for years against Les Verts until they finally put their former bête noire to bed, this is a fixture that PSG usually overcome in quite straightforward fashion and the task is less daunting without the boiling atmosphere of the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard 'cauldron' as it is referred to.
The capital outfit come into this one having won three of their last seven Ligue 1 matches with two losses and two draws in that time but despite their dip in form, they remain within touching distance of the summit and would still be one point clear of Marseille even if OM win their two spare games.
10 - Mauricio Pochettino will become the 10th @PSG_inside's manager to have played for the club before, after Jean-Michel Larqué, Ilija Pantelic, Camille Choquier, Luis Fernandez, Ricardo, Vahid Halilhodzic, Laurent Fournier, Paul Le Guen & Antoine Kombouaré. Home. https://t.co/D7vkDov3k4— OptaJean (@OptaJean) January 2, 2021
It might not be pretty due to a combination of a late return to action and Pochettino's new methods, but PSG probably should have enough to beat a limited Saint-Etienne side -- even without the likes of Neymar and Presnel Kimpembe through injury and Rafinha due to his positive COVID-19 test. Pick: ASSE 1-2 PSG.