Lionel Messi joins Kylian Mbappe in missing principality trip
Paris Saint-Germain face another tough away day on Saturday when they travel to the principality to tackle AS Monaco in Ligue 1. The French champions are now out of the Coupe de France after they were beaten by their bitter rivals Olympique de Marseille in midweek so head coach Christophe Galtier is under pressure to make sure that his PSG players are ready for Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League next week. Kylian Mbappe will likely miss out again through injury and has been joined by Lionel Messi which challenges Neymar to carry the team in their absence.
“You have to find the right words and make a realistic analysis of the match we lost,” said Galtier at Friday’s PSG press conference. “We also have to look ahead to Monaco, who are a quality team. We have to talked with the players about what did not work against Marseille. We cannot do anything about our elimination from the Coupe de France, we have to focus on what comes next, and Monaco. We have to keep cool and work on what we can do better. We have got an intense run of games. Monaco did not play in the week. We have to use as many players as possible and exploit the physical and mental freshness of everyone to get through this run of matches.”
“We will perhaps have to play in a different way given the injuries and abilities of the players,” added the French tactician. “Of course, Messi will be a miss against Monaco, but it is part of being a coach to deal with those sorts of things. We have to make a big effort to be better mentally and to win more challenges in midfield. We should expect the same kind of match as against Marseille but with different characteristics. They are a team that presses a lot, play high up the pitch with man-to-man marking in zones. There is a lot of attacking quality with several players who can feature up front. They are capable of being dangerous at any time, but we can cause Monaco problems and we have to show a different face to the one shown at the Velodrome.”
Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
Date: Saturday, Feb. 11 | Time: 11 a.m. ET
Location: Stade Louis II — Monaco
TV: beIN Sports USA | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Odds: Monaco +188; Draw: +250; PSG +138 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Monaco: Vanderson remains out with a knee injury while Malang Sarr has a hip problem. Eliesse Ben Seghir also has a foot issue but otherwise Philippe Clement should have most of his starters ready for this one. Breel Embolo and Wissam Ben Yedder are in prolific form while Takumi Minamino will hope to start as will Krepin Diatta.
“I don’t think that their loss in Marseille changes anything in their preparation for Saturday,” said Guillermo Maripan. “It will be another battle no matter the circumstances. We know they lost a great player in the form of Kylian Mbappe, who will be injured this weekend. But PSG are a great team with a very deep squad, and I’m sure that won’t diminish them or change the way they play. Against them, you always have to be very focused, communicate a lot with your teammates, and also show aggression, because they don’t necessarily like that. I think high pressing can hinder them, as Marseille have shown. This is one of the ingredients that we will have to put into this match.”
CBS Sports has the daily soccer podcast for you, covering everything you need to know about the beautiful game. Make sure to give House of Champions a follow for coverage of the biggest games, stories, transfer news with Fabrizio Romano, and everything else going on in the world’s most popular sport.
PSG: Neymar, Sergio Ramos, and Marco Verratti were back against OM but it was a disappointing outing and Mbappe was missed as he continues to recover. Messi has a hamstring problem and was officially ruled out by Galtier during Friday’s press conference and Marco Verratti also misses the trip with a left hip complaint. Presnel Kimpembe is back and in the confirmed squad, though, while Nordi Mukiele is nearing a return from injury. Hugo Ekitike and Carlos Soler will hope for increased involvement as Galtier tries to keep his players relatively fresh for the Champions league return next week.
“Regarding Kylian, he is out for three weeks — he is getting treatment,” said Galtier. “For Leo, he felt muscle fatigue against Marseille. He will be back in training on Monday, the day before the game against Munich. He is not doubtful for the Bayern game.”
“After suffering a hamstring injury against Marseille, Leo Messi will undergo treatment for 48 hours,” read PSG’s official pre-Monaco medical update. “He is scheduled to return to training on Monday.”
This one will not be easy for Les Parisiens but they need to respond after the disappointment of defeat in Marseille. Another tough game should force the visitors to raise their game which gives them greater hope of being ready for Bayern next week. Anything less than a draw and it will be panic stations at Parc des Princes ahead of next week. Pick: Monaco 1, PSG 1.