PSG will visit Rennes on Sunday as part of match day 19 of the Ligue 1 2022-23 season. While neither Pablo Sarabia nor Marco Verratti trained, the MNM should make a return to the pitch with all three of Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe playing today.
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.
That was expected to be the case last Wednesday but ultimately Mbappe (and BFF Achraf Hakimi) didn't return to training until Thursday so he missed the game against Angers entirely. Not the case anymore, though!
The MNM is back in action: Neymar, Mbappe, and Messi will share a pitch for the first time in months!
Galtier brought back the three-man-defense against Angers and it worked for PSG. That said, it was a matchup against the dead-last team of the French top-flight division. And even Galtier acknowledged he made a last-minute change after planning for a classic four-man line prior to kick-off.
With PSG having lost their lone high-stakes Ligue 1 game of the season to date against Lens on Jan. 1, it makes sense to face the fourth-placed team with a different system today. Alas, expect a re-do and another three-center-back line today featuring the trio of Marquinhos, Danilo, and Sergio Ramos.
This sucks for two players that will (most probably) start today: Juan Bernat on the left flank and Fabian Ruiz higher up the midfield. Bernat hugged the line all game long against Angers and never smelled the ball. The same happened to Ruiz, who was incredibly lost throughout the game and is starting to generate worrying doubts in Paris.
Vitinha should retain his starting role as Marco Verratti has been ruled out from Sunday's matchup with a nagging quadriceps injury. The same goes for Nordi Mukiele as Hakimi just returned to Camp des Loges last Thursday and might prefer to play off the bench today if needed.
Not to mention Muikiele has been playing at such a level that should have him ahead of the Morocco international in the pecking order. But that's another entirely different story.
The mojo will be found on the forward line: for the first time in 2023 and having waited more than two months for it, the MNM will be back in action with Neymar, Messi, and Mbappe sharing the same pitch from the get-go.
Neymar is the only player with question marks floating above his head right now because of his still banged-up ankle, but he should be ready and fit enough to go from the start.
Messi returned in his usual GOAT fashion, scoring one goal and hockey-assisting another one last Wednesday.
Mbappe has trained for just three full days with the rest of the group but judging by his hyper-quick return after the World Cup (playing two matches after arriving in Paris) and his late week off, he has no excuses for not putting on a show tonight in Rennes.