Lionel Messi will again be sidelined for Paris Saint-Germain for Saturday’s game against Montpellier as he continues to nurse a knee injury, his club said.
PSG said Messi had started running again and that a new update would come on Sunday, raising hope that he will be able to return for the Champions League clash against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on Tuesday.
Messi was taken off in the 76th minute of last weekend’s 2-1 win over Lyon in Ligue 1.
It only emerged later that he was suffering from a knock to a knee and he played no part in Wednesday’s 2-1 league win at Metz.
Messi has made just three appearances for his new club since arriving from Barcelona in early August, and has completed 90 minutes just once, at Club Brugge in the Champions League.
PSG are looking to make it eight wins out of eight in Ligue 1 this season.
Marco Verratti and Sergio Ramos, the close season signing from Real Madrid, are also still on the sidelines.
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
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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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
Plenty of Tottenham fans will be counting down the days until Pape Matar Sarr arrives at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Making a name for himself in France after becoming a regular in the Metz team in 2020/21, Spurs managing director of football Fabio Paratici wasted no time at all by clinching a deal for the 19-year-old last month.
Keen to get in there ahead of Europe’s biggest clubs given his rising popularity, the Senegal international penned a six-year contract in north London in a deal worth £14.6million before returning to Metz on a season-long loan deal.
Clearly planning for the future as well as the here and now during the summer market, Paratici labelled the talented midfielder as a “great investment” for Spurs.
“I think Pape is one of the most talented in Europe,” he told the club’s official website.
“Our job is not to look just at tomorrow, but maybe also past tomorrow or next year. I think we made a great signing. In all of Europe they speak about this, a lot of teams were interested, a lot of teams were there to sign (him), so we made a very good signing.
“He needs experience, he needs to play games, to stay in one team and play regularly – a great investment for the club, and a great vision for the future.”
Despite Metz currently propping up the Ligue 1 table in the opening weeks of the season, Sarr has impressed in a variety of different midfield roles ranging from attacking midfield to playing out on the left.
Once again named in the Metz midfield on Wednesday night for their game against league leaders Paris Saint-Germain, Sarr played in a slightly deeper role than he has done in recent weeks given the talent in Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Coming up against Georginio Wijnaldum, Rafinha and Danilo Pereira in midfield, Sarr didn’t look out of place one bit and instead rose to the occasion and subsequently caught the eye.
On a night when a player of his age could have struggled up against more experienced opposition, the youngster took everything in his stride and showed why he is rated so highly in the game.
Always neat and tidy on the ball when in possession, Sarr looked to get the ball forward with some adventurous passing at times rather than opting to play it simple as Metz tried to cause PSG big problems in the final third.
He even attempted a rather ambitious effort from 35 yards that proved to be no trouble at all for Keylor Navas as the ball sailed way over the crossbar.
Metz’s No.15 showcased his incredible energy levels in the match as he never stepped running, continued to press his opponents and got back time and time again to help the backline deal with the threat of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Sarr in fact dispossessed the former in the second half on one occasion just as the French international looked to break forward after the hosts had lost possession.
It really was a fine box-to-box midfield display from the Tottenham man and one that certainly didn’t deserve to be on the losing side following their late 2-1 defeat in stoppage time.