Lionel Messi returns but Kylian Mbappe left on bench: PSG confirm strong XI for Bayern Champions League clash amid fitness fears

Comments (0)
Messi Mbappe GFX
Getty / GOAL
Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe are at different points in their respective injury recoveries for Paris Saint-Germain's match against Bayern Munich.
  • Messi returns, Mbappe on bench
  • Verratti also back in the XI
  • PSG try to shake off poor form

WHAT HAPPENED? Messi and Marco Verratti have been deemed good to go as starters, while 16-year-old Warren Zaire-Emery is set to make his first Champions League start in Tuesday's last-16 game against Bayern Munich.

Mbappe sustained a muscle injury in early February, but has recovered more quickly than expected, making him an option off the bench against Bayern. He passed a late fitness test early Tuesday morning, according to L'Equipe. And his session on Monday provided "good signs" to Neymar.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mbappe was expected to be out for around three weeks, but returned to training just 10 days after picking up a thigh injury. His involvement will be crucial as PSG hope to shake off poor form and infighting to avoid another Champions League disappointment.

Article continues below

WHAT THEY SAID?: Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann suggested that his team will be ready for Mbappe, regardless of how long he is on the pitch.

"I don't know if Kylian Mbappe will play from the start. We will prepare for all scenarios. Both can hurt any team in the world. But we will be ready," Nagelsmann said in a pre-match press conference. "Our job will be to be ready for Mbappe, too, no matter whether he plays. We are generally prepared for different scenarios, but the game will not depend on that alone."


Mbappe-PSG-2023 Kylian Mbappe PSG 2022-23 Julian Nagelsmann

WHAT NEXT FOR MBAPPE? The France international is likely to play some role off the bench as PSG take on Bayern on Tuesday night.