In Lens, PSG will discover life without Neymar or Messi

PSG will experience a historic evening on Sunday in Lens. For the first time this season, he will be without two of his three attacking stars. Christophe Galtier would have done well without this annoyance. If Lionel Messi’s absence was expected – the Argentine ends his holiday after success at the World Cup and is due to return to the Camp des Loges the next day – Neymar was not.

The expulsion of the Brazilian in the 62nd minute on Wednesday against Strasbourg (2-1) for a second yellow card will deprive him of the trip to Bollaert on behalf of the 17th day. This last-minute package will complicate the task or at least significantly limit the choices of the coach and his staff to compose PSG’s offensive line.

To support Kylian Mbappé, Galtier and his assistants must choose between Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and Hugo Ekitike. Unless you choose a more daring solution. If they decide to keep the 4-4-2 diamond pattern that the team has been developing for several weeks, Soler should take Neymar’s place as a number 10 to support the two strikers. Mbappé is guaranteed a starter, unless there is a mistake before Sunday, so there is only one place left in the attack. For this meeting, which promises to be a big test for Paris against its second place in the standings, Sarabia’s experience could be privileged.

Sarabia, a breath of fresh air

The author of a very good season last year under the colors of Sporting Portugal, the 30-year-old Spaniard, who was knocked out of the World Cup in the round of 16 by Morocco (0-0, 0-3 on pens), offers more guarantees than the former Rémois . Rarely lined up from the start (just five times in all competitions) this season, along with Soler, he gave PSG some momentum entering the game on Wednesday in the final quarter, Galtier admitted at a press conference.

Ekitike, holding on Wednesday, weighed a little and showed a lot of clumsiness, although he was generous in his runs. He failed to convert a good goal-scoring opportunity from a cross from Nordi Mukiele (45. + 1) and annoyed Neymar in the second half by favoring an individual solution over a pass to the former Barcelona man. His youth (20 years old) and the change in his career by moving from Stade de Reims to PSG may explain his difficulties in Paris. He appears a bit soft for Sunday’s showdown. Galtier has two days to find the best offensive combination.


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