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Mbappe BENCHED but Messi & Neymar both start for PSG in Ligue 1 clash with Rennes

22:16 GMT+3 15/01/2023
Lionel Messi Neymar 2022-23
Lionel Messi and Neymar both featured in Paris Saint-Germain's starting line-up to take on Rennes on Sunday, but there was no room for Kylian Mbappe.
  • Messi and Neymar both started
  • Mbappe featured on bench alongside Hakimi
  • Pair only returned to training on Thursday

WHAT HAPPENED? Messi and Neymar featured in a front-line alongside youngster Hugo Ekitike, with Mbappe having to settle for a space on the bench. The 23-year-old only returned to training on Thursday after taking a break following his World Cup exploits with France, and it is clear that manager Christophe Galtier feels Sunday's match has come too soon for the forward.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mbappe had returned back for PSG's first two league games after the international break, but Galtier granted both him and full-back Achraf Hakimi an extended rest period, with the latter also featuring on the Parisiens' bench against Rennes. The Frenchman's omission from the starting line-up means fans will have to wait for the first Messi-Neymar-Mbappe frontline since the World Cup, although it is likely that Mbappe will make an impact at some point from the bench.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR PSG? Galtier's side will pull six points clear at the top of Ligue 1 with a win on Sunday, after which they travel to Saudi Arabia for a long-anticipated friendly against Cristiano Ronaldo and Co.