Preview: 5 things about Paris - Saint-Raphaël

Paris Saint-Germain return to the Stade Pierre de Coubertin on Friday when they take on Saint-Raphaël. Find out all you need to know about this Liqui Moly StarLigue Round 24 clash.


After a fine 23-game unbeaten run, Les Rouge et Bleu fell to a valiant Nantes side 32-30 last time out. Despite this, Raul Gonzalez's men are still top of the table and will be aiming to maintain their three-point lead over The H by overcoming a Raphaël side that has struggled in recent weeks.

After a sparkling first half of the season, the side from the Var region have been on the back foot in 2024. Eliminated from the Coupe de France by Nantes (35-24), who will facd Les Rouge et Bleu in the final on 20 April, Saint-Raphaël have since suffered a number of setbacks in the league and have been on the hunt for a win for the last three games. Currently in seventh place in the Liqui Moly StarLigue, Benjamin Braux's side are nevertheless playing some entertaining handball, both at home and away. A case in point was their 42-38 win in Montpellier last time out.


Saint-Raphaël may be struggling to find their feet defensively (only Dijon have conceded more goals than SRVHB), but the Var outfit can count on a particularly prolific attack. Only the capital club (835 goals) and Nantes (802 goals) have found the back of the net more times than Saint-Raphaël (770). As proof of this, the first leg between Paris and Les Varois ended in a 45-38 win for Les Rouge et Bleu in their most prolific encounter of the season.


Saint-Raphaël are one of the best attacking forces in the Liqui Moly StarLigue this season, thanks in no small part to their unrivalled team spirit, but also to the efficiency of José Maria Marquez Coloma. The Spanish centre-half, who arrived in the south of France in 2022, has established himself this season as one of the most decisive players in our league. With 144 goals to his name, Chema has climbed to fifth place in a ranking still outrageously dominated by Kamil Syprzak, scorer of 175 goals. However, it is not only in front of goal that the Saint-Raphaël man has proven imperious. A true technical leader for his side, he also shines in terms of his vision in open play, providing his team-mates with oodles of goal-scoring opportunities. This puts him in seventh place on the assists chart (102), which is also dominated by a Parisian: the indestructible Luc Steins, with 162 assists to his name.


Over the seasons, the capital club has managed to gain the upper hand over Saint-Raphaël, and now has 24 wins to eight defeats. On Friday, Raul Gonzalez's men will be looking to record a ninth consecutive win against their Var counterparts. This record is all the more impressive at home, where Les Rouge et Bleu are riding an impressive 11-game winning streak against the Raphaël outfit stretching back to 2012.


Throw-off: 20:00 at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin

Television: BeIn Sports 3

Social networks: Live-tweet

(Credits: L. Valroff/Team Pics/PSG)