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Messi's back! World Cup hero starts in PSG return vs Angers but Mbappe out

22:51 GMT+3 11/01/2023
Lionel Messi PSG Angers 2022-23
Lionel Messi and Neymar have both been handed starts for PSG's Ligue 1 clash with Angers on Wednesday night, but Kylian Mbappe remains out.
  • Messi, Neymar back
  • Mbappe, Hakimi, Verratti all out
  • Ekitike retains spot in XI

WHAT HAPPENED? Fresh off a World Cup win, the Argentine is starting in his first game back in Paris. Messi has been in training for over a week now and manager Christophe Galtier confirmed that Messi would be thrown back into the XI as soon as he was available.

Messi is joined by Neymar leading the PSG attack, with Kylian Mbappe handed an extended break following a speedy return to action from Qatar.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: PSG are some distance from full strength following the World Cup. Although Neymar and Messi are back, key contributors Achraf Hakimi and Marco Verratti are missing, while Renato Sanches and Presnel Kimpembe are also sidelined.

WHAT THEY SAID?: Galtier had previously confirmed that Messi is ready for action after rounding into fitness in PSG training: "We're making sure he's ready for the next game. We'll take stock. I'll be very attentive to what he's going to do, but we want him to be available for the next match.”

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI & NEYMAR? PSG's star duo project to be key contributors for the coming months as PSG chase three trophies.