Lionel Messi returns but Kylian Mbappe left on bench: PSG confirm strong XI for Bayern Champions League clash amid fitness fears
- 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.
Our starting eleven for #PSGFCB at the Parc des Princes! ⏳#UCL I @EASPORTSFIFA pic.twitter.com/1PVsQpyIWy— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) February 14, 2023
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.
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."
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WHAT NEXT FOR MBAPPE? The France international is likely to play some role off the bench as PSG take on Bayern on Tuesday night.