PSG boost as Lionel Messi and Marco Verratti are ‘set to return against Man City’ in a huge Champions League clash with the Argentine superstar back to take on former mentor Pep Guardiola
- PSG and Man City face each other next week in an intriguing Champions League match
- Mauricio Pochettino could pass both Lionel Messi and Marco Verratti
- Messi out this weekend after a knee injury last week
- But the Argentinian could return for a special reunion with Pep Guardiola
Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino will get a big boost with both Lionel Messi and Marco Verratti reportedly lining up to return against Manchester City next week.
The French giants take on Pep Guardiola on Tuesday in a ravishing Champions League encounter on Tuesday, and they are in need of a win after descending to a disappointing draw against Club Brugge in their Group A group opener.
Meanwhile, City are currently leading the pack after their emphatic and highly entertaining 6-3 home win over Germany’s RB Leipzig.
Lionel Messi (center) and Marco Verratti (right) line up to return against Manchester City
Messi has started running again after being forced out in 2-1 win over Lyon last week
The pair have both been sidelined with knee injuries, with Messi requiring an MRI scan after being forced out in the 2-1 win over Lyon last week.
The scan showed signs of bone bruises, with the former Barcelona star subsequently missing PSG’s narrow win over Metz, while also being absent for Saturday night’s game against Montpellier.
However, French outlet L’Equipe reports that both players should be in the roster on Tuesday to face City, with Verratti – and possibly Messi – returning to training next week.
Messi has yet to score or assist in his three appearances for PSG so far
PSG revealed that Messi has resumed running in a statement on Friday, with the attacker set to undergo a further check on Sunday.
Ahead of this weekend’s game against Montpellier, Mauricio Pochettino insisted that the hope is that Messi will play against City.
“As you have seen in the medical update coming out before the press conference, we are going to assess him,” he said.
“We hope he gets better and on Sunday we can give a positive update. We hope all goes well and he is available again.
“We hope he can play (against Manchester City). We have to be careful to see how it evolves in the coming days.”
Messi could be lining up for a reunion with former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola
Should Messi recover in time for the meeting, the 34-year-old – who left Barcelona for PSG this summer – will reunite with former mentor Guardiola.
While Guardiola insisted the Argentinian was ‘not on our minds’, Messi had been strongly linked with a move to the Premier League and City, spraying £100million on Jack Grealish, while missing out on primary attack target Harry Kane.
Instead, Messi could be lining up to meet his former boss again. He scored a hat-trick for Barcelona against Guardiola’s City in a 4-0 home win in October 2016, before opening the score in a 3-1 defeat two weeks later.
Messi also played against Guardiola’s Bayern Munich side, with Barcelona progressing to – and eventually winning – the Champions League final with an aggregate win of 5-3 in 2015.