It's been more than a month since the last time the Ligue 1 ball rolled over a pitch but French football is less than 24 hours away! PSG have the advantage of staying home for the return of the Ligue 1 and the Parisian club will host Strasbourg on Wednesday, Dec. 28.
After staging a couple of mid-season friendlies against minnows Paris FC (2-1 victory) and Quevilly (3-1 win) earlier this month, PSG will be back playing competitive football for the first time since November on Wednesday when Strasbourg visit the Parc des Princes at 9:00 pm.
Even though they returned to Paris through the last few days, none of the returning players from the World Cup to play in the semi-finals and the final weekend of international competition have yet played, and neither have the two Brazil internationals part of PSG's squad.
That means that all four of Kylian Mbappe, Marquinhos, Neymar, and Achraf Hakimi have trained but not put on any competitive minutes on a football pitch prior to Wednesday's game. That said, it is fair to assume all of them will be on the pitch (starting or coming off the bench) tomorrow.
On Tuesday morning, L'Equipe already leaked that Mbappe wants to start for PSG against Strasbourg on Wednesday night. The France international wants to forget about his nation's poor World Cup finale by starting and playing football again as soon as possible.
Mbappe will play tomorrow, with the only question being how many minutes he will get on his first game back after the World Cup break.
PSG will use all of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Marquinhos, and Achraf Hakimi against Strasbourg
On the goal, Gianluigi Donnarumma returned to PSG starting against Quevilly and he will keep manning the posts once more as it's been the case all season long.
The defensive line will welcome Marquinhos back, as he's been training for more than a week now starting on Dec. 22, the very same day of his return to the French capital. He will be paired with Sergio Ramos, who didn't go to Qatar and is the most experienced defender available for Christophe Galtier.
Juan Bernat is Nuno Mendes' (injured) backup and starter until the Portugal international returns, and Hakimi arrived at the same time as Mbappe did so both should be good to start and play from the get-go if needed, which simply is the case unless Galtier opts to deploy Nordi Mukiele and make a late change.
The middle of the field should be the strongest line of PSG once more, with four internationals available and fighting for a starting nod on Wednesday's game in Marco Verratti, Fabian Ruiz, Vitinha, and Renato Sanches. The arrival of the latter a few days ago should put him over fellow Portuguese Sanches, who should start the game on the bench tomorrow making way for the Qatar-bound Vitinha.
With Mbappe determined to play and Hugo Ekitike the only other established first-teamer available, both of them should start up front. Gharbi is the third player in the pecking order among the many youngsters playing in the mid-season friendlies.
Ilyes Housni could be another option, though the Spaniard has been better than the Frenchman in the last two games.
Danilo, Nuno Mendes, and Presnel Kimpembe have all three been ruled out for Wednesday.
Lionel Messi is not back yet and won't be so until Jan. 3, according to L'Equipe, so it's hard to expect him back playing until mid-January at the very least (Jan. 11 hosting Angers).