PSG will visit Rennes on Sunday as part of match day 19 of the Ligue 1 2022-23 season. In the last training session before the game, which took place on Saturday morning, neither Pablo Sarabia (sold to Wolves) nor Marco Verratti (quadriceps injury) trained with the group and will miss tomorrow's clash.
Having crushed Chareauroux (3-1) in the French Cup last weekend and coming off the first win of the calendar year at the Parc against Angers (2-0) last Wednesday, this Sunday marks a short-notice return to Ligue 1 competition against fourth-place Rennes on the road for PSG.
Christophe Galtier held a pre-match press conference on Saturday afternoon in which he shared some interesting nuggets ahead of the matchup with Rennes tomorrow. Here is what the coach said.
Asked about the late improvements of Hugo Ekitike...
"Hugo had a long period of adaptation. He had to go through the growing pains and earn his role."
"In his last three matches, he has been decisive, though."
Christophe Galtier: "Sarabia's sale is well underway; we're not going to sign a replacement for the sake of doing it"
"He is progressing, finding his footing. We are very satisfied. He will have the opportunity to play a lot."
About facing an up-and-down Rennes away from Paris on Sunday...
"All teams are unrestrained. Angers (as an example) came with a lot of ambition."
"We need to have tough matches. It's better for us. We expect a difficult match."
"The fans will push very hard. It will be a very open game. We will have to be better in the use of the ball than (we were) against Angers."
"Am I afraid? No. We always have the ambition to be good, and to win."
"On the other side, there is a good team, a good coach, Bruno Genesio."
"[Rennes] transitions and moves very well in attack. They have quality."
"They lost (striker) Martin Terrier, (but) they are a difficult team to handle."
"I've seen their games since the start of the season. It remains a formidable opponent. We will have to be good technically and be very vigilant in the low block."
About the evolution of PSG as the season keeps advancing...
"On the last matches played, on a technical level, it is insufficient compared to the level we want to play at."
"We must be more decisive, bring the killer instinct, and give less hope to the opponent."
"Everyone must work for the team."
About the first-team players availability and the fitness of the group...
"It's been almost two months since our squad was broken because of the World Cup."
"Today we are only beginning to enjoy an almost-complete group."
About Verratti, who will miss his third game in a row with a quadriceps injury...
"He is a very important player. When he's not there, we miss his positioning and his scientific approach to the game."
"Marco is fine (physically), he will quickly get back on track and back into the group."
About the rest of the available midfielders and their roles on the pitch...
"Even if they are not involved in goalscoring, we have our strikers who score a lot of goals."
"Our game is all about combinations. There is very little room for transitions."
"On a tactical level, I ask my midfielders to be in support of our strikers."
"If we can improve the midfield (signing someone in the winter transfer window) we will do it. But right now there are a lot of options in the midfield, more than in other areas."
About Kylian Mbappe's availability tomorrow to face Rennes...
"Mbappe is ready to play. He has recovered well, like Hakimi."
"They are available along with the rest of the group."
"I have not exchanged thoughts with him (ahead of tomorrow's game and his potential cameo). I did it when he returned from the World Cup."
"He does not seem to be upset or disappointed (because of France's loss to Argentina in the World Cup final). He is available and smiling like a great professional."
About the feared MNM finally reuniting on the pitch after the break...
"I give them a lot of freedom. On a tactical level, we are looking to frustrate the opponent."
"Offensively, we look for the trio to be in their best zone."
About Pablo Sarabia's rumor of a transfer away to Wolves...
"Pablo is a very good player, but he was not happy here."
"He has an opportunity to join the Premier League. There is no point in keeping unhappy players in the squad."
"The sale is well underway. Will he be replaced? The club is working but we will not sign someone for the sake of doing it."
"We have good young players, and we have to make room for them."