September 25, 2021

Messi sees PSG home debut delayed as Neymar is also ruled out of Pochettino’s plans

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An Argentine superstar will not get to grace Parc des Princes on Saturday, with South American stars sitting out a meeting with Clermont

Lionel Messi has seen a home debut for Paris Saint-Germain delayed, with Neymar also being ruled out of Mauricio Pochettino’s plans for a meeting with Clermont on Saturday.

An Argentine superstar has seen just 24 minutes of game time since securing a switch to Parc des Princes from Barcelona over the summer, with that solitary outing coming on the road at Reims.

Messi has been away on World Cup qualifying duty since then, breaking Pele’s record as the top-scoring South American in men’s international football, and only saw those endeavours come to a close on Thursday evening.

What has been said?

With there no way of getting Messi, Neymar and Co back into his squad following outings for Argentina and Brazil, Pochettino is having to favour alternative options.

The PSG boss has told reporters of the selection poser he faces: “For the South American players, for a matter of common sense, [Leandro] Paredes, Messi, [Angel] Di Maria, Neymar, they will not be there.”

While a number of star turns are set to miss out against Clermont, they are expected to come back into contention for a Champions League group stage opener against Club Brugge on Wednesday.

Who else is missing for PSG?

Pochettino is having to contend with the absence of a number of key men at present, with international performers being joined on the sidelines by those nursing untimely injuries.

Sergio Ramos, Marco Verratti, Colin Dagba, Juan Bernat, Layvin Kurzawa and Ismael Gharbi have all been ruled out in PSG’s latest fitness update.

There is some positive news for Pochettino, though, with Kylian Mbappe returning to training on Wednesday.

The World Cup winner had been forced out of France’s latest squad after picking up a knock in a meeting with Bosnia-Herzegovina on September 1, but he is raring to go once more.

Pochettino added: “Now Kylian is training with us and we’ll see tomorrow if he’ll be in the squad.”

Presnel Kimpembe also left the French fold during the latest round of action, but he is back in training at club level alongside Argentine striker Mauro Icardi.

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