PSG vs. Stade de Reims Messi returns to Ligue 1

Mbappe, fresh off his advice from Zlatan Ibrahimovic to join Real Madrid this coming summer, had suffered a groin injury was is questionable to take part in the match, but it’s Messi who still is not yet fit for the starting lineup. Still, the Argentine could see time off the bench as Mauricio Pochettino gets the former Barcelona star back to full strength.

PSG (first, 50 points) will look to recapture its best Ligue 1 form ahead of the Champions League knockout stage in mid-February. The French giants won their first eight league matches of the season in a row, and 13 of their first 15. They have drawn four of their last six. Mauricio Pochettino’s defense has also faltered of late, having conceded a goal in seven of their last nine, including two to 19th-placed Bordeaux and one each to 18th-placed Lorient and bottom-feeder Saint-Etienne.

MORE: When is Neymar expected back for PSG?

Getting all three of Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar on the field together this season has been a nightmare. Neymar has been out since late November with a bad ankle injury and isn’t expected back in training for another few weeks. Messi has been missing since contracting COVID-19 over the winter break in Argentina, and his recovery left him sidelined for “longer than I thought.” Mbappe to this point had avoided injury troubles this season.

Reims (14th, 24 points), meanwhile, has been solid since the start of December, with just two losses in that period. But a 1-0 defeat to 18th-placed Metz last time out feels like a rally killer. Still, this is a dangerous side that has beaten Lyon and drawn with second-placed Marseille this season, so the Red & Whites won’t back down.

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