Lionel Messi, PSG
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Still no Messi for PSG against Montpellier?

Publish on 24/09/2021 at 09:16

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Lionel Messi is expected to miss Paris Saint-Germain's match against Montpellier Hérault SC on Saturday, a slight knee injury meaning the Argentine is likely to be spared for Tuesday's UEFA Champions League clash with Manchester City.

Paris Saint-Germain - Montpellier Hérault SC

 

- kick-off: 21:00 CEST

 

>> LIVE SCORING, STATS AND COMMENTARY

 

Messi was subbed off with 15 minutes to go of last Sunday's 2-1 win over Olympique Lyonnais, and although he looked visibly disappointed to make way for Achraf Hakimi, tests subsequently showed a contusion in his knee.

 

The Argentine legend missed Wednesday's 2-1 win at FC Metz, with Hakimi once again taking the spotlight, this time with a brace, completed in the final minute, which secured another three-point haul for Mauricio Pochettino's men.

 

Flying high

 

Paris are top with a seven-point cushion over nearest challengers Olympique de Marseille, and with their Group A meeting with City just days away, some rotation can be expected at the Parc des Princes - which may be unavoidable in Messi's case.

 

Watch: Highlights of PSG's 2-1 win over Metz

 

 

"We have a team which fights to the end," Pochettino said after Hakimi's match-winning performance. "They have an ability to surpass themselves. I'm happy with this; the team showed character."

 

One player unlikely to make way is goalkeeper Keylor Navas, despite competition from Gianluigi Donnarumma, with the Costa Rican one of the few singled out for praise after the Metz game. Sergio Ramos and Marco Verratti - with calf and knee complaints respectively - are unlikely to feature.

 

Goal-fest

 

Montpellier begin the day nine places and 12 points worse off that their hosts following their 3-3 draw with Girondins de Bordeaux on Wednesday.

 

La Paillade's leaky defence is cause for concern, but Valère Germain did at least bag a brace to make it three goals in as many games since swapping Marseille for Montpellier this summer, and he will be hoping to add to his single career striker against PSG.

 

Watch: Highlights of Montpellier's 3-3 draw with Bordeaux

 

 

Montpellier took Paris to penalties when the teams last met in the Coupe de France quarter-finals in May - PSG prevailing 6-5 in the shoot-out following a 2-2 draw in normal time - and Pochettino's opposite number Olivier Dall'Oglio hopes points start reflecting performances soon.

 

Smells like team spirit

 

"It's a result that bothers me because the boys are running hard and putting the work in," he said after the recent six-goal thriller. "There's a good team spirit and I want this group to be rewarded. I'm disappointed because I thought we were going to win this match."

 

Former PSG defender Mamadou Sakho is out with a groin strain, so Matheus Thuler - having returned from a red card suspension - could slip into central defence. Pedro Mendes and Ambroise Oyongo remain longer-term absentees with torn knee ligaments.

 

Possible teams

 

PSG: Navas; Hakimi, Kehrer, Kimpembe, Mendes; Herrera, Danilo, Draxler; Di Maria, Icardi, Mbappé

 

Montpellier: Omlin; Souquet, Thuler, Estève, Cozza; Ferri, Chotard; Mollet, Savanier, Mavididi; Germain