Advertisement
Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Champions League: Lionel Messi Set To Return For PSG Against Manchester City

Messi had missed PSG's last two games due to a knee injury and according to coach Mauricio Pochettino, the Argentinean is fit to play vs Man City.

Champions League: Lionel Messi Set To Return For PSG Against Manchester City
PSG's Lionel Messi (C) runs during a training session ahead of their clash against Manchester City in UEFA Champions League. | AP
Champions League: Lionel Messi Set To Return For PSG Against Manchester City
outlookindia.com
2021-09-28T09:16:33+05:30

For Pep Guardiola, the unthinkable could happen on Tuesday - seeing Lionel Messi in the jersey of a team that isn’t Barcelona. Messi has recovered from a knee injury and is expected to return for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) against Manchester City in a rematch of last season’s Champions League semifinal. (More Football News)

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino did not reveal his lineup but said the Argentina star was fit to play. Messi had previously been ruled out of two consecutive league games following a knock to his left knee on his home debut earlier this month.

Against Manchester City, he will be up against Guardiola, who was Messi’s coach at Barcelona between 2008 and 2012 during an exceptionally fruitful spell. Among their many titles, the pair won the Champions League in 2009 and 2011, with the six-time Ballon d’Or winner scoring in both finals.

In total, Messi scored 211 goals in 219 games in all competitions under Guardiola, who reportedly failed to secure his transfer to City during the summer.

“That was a little bit of a surprise for everyone, but what happened has happened,” Guardiola said when asked about Messi playing for another club than Barcelona. “A few years ago, you could not imagine. But football, you never know. Life, you never know what is going to happen in a short time.”

Messi, 34, has featured in only three matches for PSG and is still chasing his first goal following his shock move. In addition to the Lyon game where he got injured, Messi also made a substitute appearance on his debut against Reims and started in attack alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in the 1-1 draw at Club Brugge in their opening Champions League group game.

“Let the player work, let the player adapt and start to feel at home,” Pochettino said. “He was at Barcelona for 20 years. It is normal that he feels at home in Barcelona. Now everything is new. For sure he is going to succeed.“

With Messi fit, Pochettino could field his formidable attacking trident. Although the trio did not impress against Brugge, Guardiola said he does not have a recipe to stop them. “They are so good. This amount of talent, together, it’s so difficult,” he said. “We are going to try to defend well when we don’t have the ball, and make them run when we have the ball.”

City won 2-1 in Paris and 2-0 at home in last season’s semifinal. The Manchester club is unbeaten in its five matches with PSG, but Guardiola brushed off any notion his players will start with a psychological edge.

“The confidence is not about we beat them in the knockouts last season,” he said. “This is a new season, a new challenge. I don’t care if you win three games in a row, or lose three games in a row, this is a new one.” Following its 6-3 win against Leipzig, Manchester City lead Group A with three points, two more than PSG and Brugge.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Omicron Threat: Next 15 Days Crucial To Understand Global Impact

Omicron Threat: Next 15 Days Crucial To Understand Global Impact

The preliminary clinical data coming for the Omicron indicates that it has different sort of symptoms which is mainly intense fatigue.

Oppisition Unity: Act Fast Or Perish, TMC Makes Its Message Ring Louder

Oppisition Unity: Act Fast Or Perish, TMC Makes Its Message Ring Louder

TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee is set to meet the leadership of the Shiv Sena and NCP in the backdrop of her deliberate decision not to meet Sonia Gandhi.

IPL 2022 Retention: Teams To Reveal Players They Want To Keep

IPL 2022 Retention: Teams To Reveal Players They Want To Keep

Indian Premier League franchises will submit the list of players retained for the 2022 edition on Tuesday (November 30).

'Omicron Virus' Or 'South Africa Variant'? Here's What Not To Call New Covid-19 Strain

'Omicron Virus' Or 'South Africa Variant'? Here's What Not To Call New Covid-19 Strain

The Omicron variant of Covid-19 has led to several discussions on WHO's method of naming virus variants on Greek alphabets. But terms like 'South Africa virus' have remained in use.

Advertisement