PREVIEW | Reims v PSG: Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé could both miss Ligue 1 clash

Paris Saint-Germain are looking depleted as they make the short trip to face Reims on Saturday. As has been the case since Christophe Galtier’s poorly-received ‘sand yacht’ joke, much has been made of the Parisian’s mode of transport for the fixture. The club will take the bus rather than a plane to Reims, however, it is more unclear exactly who will make the trip. 

Lionel Messi is certain to miss the match following a calf contracture. He suffered the minor injury during PSG’s Champions League draw against Benfica on Wednesday, and it isn’t expected to be ruled out for long. The Ligue 1 champions may also be without Kylian Mbappé, who returned ill from Portugal. He is reportedly suffering from tonsilitis and is therefore a doubt, but isn’t definitely ruled out of the fixture. 

Presnel Kimpembe and Nuno Mendes are slightly more long-term absences and will be out of the fixture, as will Renato Sanches, who is expected to return to training next week. 

The components of Galtier’s side is in doubt, as is their configuration. L’Équipe report that PSG are considering switching back to 4-3-3 due to concerns over their form. There is fear of destabilising Neymar, Messi and Mbappé. However, with potentially two of that front three missing, Galtier may consider this the right time to test a different system. 

For Reims, Folarin Balogun is expected to start as he looks to continue his impressive start to the season. The Arsenal loanee has already scored six Ligue 1 goals this season. Only Mbappé and Neymar have scored more. 

Despite the form of their English striker, Reims are in the relegation zone and will be looking to break out of it with an unlikely win against table-topping PSG. 

Reims v Paris Saint-Germain predicted line-ups: 

Reims: Diouf – Locko, Abdelhamid, Agbadou, Gravillon, Flips – Mbuku, Munetsi, Matusiwa, Van Bergen – Balgoun.

PSG: Donnarumma – Ramos, Marquinhos, Mukiele – Bernat, Ruiz, Vitinha, Hakimi – Sarabia, Neymar, Soler.

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