It’s the big one.
Paris Saint-Germain welcome fellow big spenders Manchester City to the French capital on Tuesday evening, with the hosts desperate to avoid another slip after dropping points in their opening match with Club Brugge.
The runaway Ligue 1 leaders are sweating on the fitness of Lionel Messi, who missed the weekend win over Montpellier, while there have been reports of a feud between Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
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Is there any truth to those rumours and will PSG deploy their star-studded ‘MNM attack against City? We spoke to Eurosport France’s Cyril Morin ahead of the crunch clash.
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There are reports that Mbappe complained Neymar "doesn't give me the ball" at the weekend. Is there a problem between them?
Yes, Mbappe did complain when he was on the bench, but he was referring to one particular moment when Neymar tried to score when he felt he was in a better position. He was very p***ed off with both his and Neymar's individual displays - he thought his team-mate played on his own too often - but they spoke before training on Sunday, according to L'Equipe, to stop their relationship rotting.
And then there's Messi. While there's no "problem" with his arrival, there's a growing question: is Mbappe the odd one out from the MNM? Playing upfront, he doesn't get as many passes as he does when he's on the left. Messi and Neymar know each other and tend to seek one another, whereas Mbappe has to go to the flank to get the ball. At the moment, the connection between the three isn't very fluid as they haven't played many games together.
Neymar, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé
Image credit: Getty Images
Will PSG start Mbappe, Neymar and Messi (if fit) against City, or will this leave them too open?
Yes, if Messi is able to play, there's no doubt about it. How can you leave one of them off the pitch?
It's an impossible decision for Pochettino so the MNM will play. Against Club Brugge, PSG went for a 4-3-3 formation but against Lyon they added Angel Di Maria and played a 4-2-3-1. Given Di Maria is suspended on Tuesday, there's no doubt about the 4-3-3 with holding midfielders in Idrissa Gueye and Ander Herrera.
Possible PSG line-up: Navas; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Nuno Mendes; Herrera, Wijnaldum, Gueye; Messi, Mbappe, Neymar.
Who do you think is favourite for the match?
That's a very hard question.
If we are being reasonable, based on what we've seen this season, City look like a team while PSG are a work in progress. With the MNM, they can score against every team but if City plays with the same intensity as the win over Chelsea, I'm not sure PSG can match such a collective level.
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