The bright lights of the UEFA Champions League are back at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday with PSG facing Bayern Munich in the first league of the Round of 16.
Paris Saint-Germain are coming off a week to forget, perhaps their worst of the season to date with losses in a Coupe Classique last Wednesday at Marseille (2-1) and another in a Ligue 1 matchup at Monaco (3-1) last Saturday. PSG will be relieved to flip the "weekly" page and enter a blank slate, even if that means facing the German giants from Munich.
The team that took the pitch of the Stade Louis-II last Saturday is going to be very different from the one showing up on Tuesday at the Parc, starting with the confirmed and guaranteed returns of Leo Messi and Marco Verratti to the starting lineup.
Nothing will change on the goal of Paris, with Donnarumma slated to start without a doubt. The defense should see a lot of changes for the better. Those should include starting gigs for Sergio Ramos and Achraf Hakimi, both coming off the bench last Saturday.
Nuno Mendes missed the game against Monaco but is also expected back in the starting lineup, along with Marquinhos in a four-man line instead of one featuring three center-backs.
The middle of the pitch will feature Marco Verratti along with two of Fabian Ruiz, Vitinha, and Danilo. There is no guarantee of who of those last three will start the game, though, as it depends on Galtier's gameplan.
If he opts for a more attacking/creative approach, then Verratti should play along with Vitinha and Ruiz. If he wants to cover his back a bit, then Danilo might play a DM role with Verratti slightly higher up the pitch next to Vitinha/Ruiz.
The forward line will experience the largest boost with the return of Leo Messi alone being reason enough for hope of getting a positive result. Neymar has been bad of late but he will undoubtedly start this game, with Hugo Ekitike manning the lone striker position if only because of the lack of alternatives--barring a surprising start by Kylian Mbappe.
Christophe Galtier will wait to bring Mbappe onto the pitch from the bench, and he's reportedly willing to give him around 30 minutes of play. Carlos Soler, Warren Zaire-Emery, and Juan Bernat might also get cameos against Bayern in the first leg of the Round of 16.