Injured Messi misses out for PSG again
November 05 2021 11:47 PM
Paris St Germain’s Lionel Messi is suffering from knee and hamstring pains. (Reuters)
Paris St Germain’s Lionel Messi is suffering from knee and hamstring pains. (Reuters)

AFP/ Paris

Lionel Messi will again be missing due to injury for Paris Saint-Germain’s Ligue 1 game at Bordeaux this weekend, but coach Mauricio Pochettino said yesterday he is hopeful the six-time Ballon d’Or winner will be able to feature for Argentina in the upcoming international window. PSG said Messi would miss the trip to Bordeaux due to “knee and hamstring pains”, the same problems that saw him sit out the 2-2 draw with RB Leipzig in the Champions League in midweek.
“Tomorrow he won’t be available to play for the team. We will see if he can travel to play for his country,” Pochettino told reporters. “We hope he can go and play for his country and then return to us fit.”
Argentina play Uruguay in Montevideo next Friday, November 12 and then host Brazil four days later in San Juan as they look to close in on qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Messi, who has been in Madrid this week receiving treatment, has endured a stop-start beginning to his PSG career and has featured in just eight out of a possible 15 games between league and Champions League.
The ex-Barcelona man has scored three goals in three appearances in Europe but is yet to score domestically and has completed 90 minutes just twice in Ligue 1. PSG, who are eight points clear at the top of Ligue 1, are also without Leandro Paredes, Rafinha, Marco Verratti, Presnel Kimpembe and Sergio Ramos for the game at Bordeaux.
Plagued by a calf injury, Ramos is yet to make his debut for PSG since signing from Real Madrid but PSG said in their medical bulletin yesterday the Spanish defender will return to training with the rest of the squad next week.
Pochettino has PSG cruising in Ligue 1 and on course to qualify for the Champions League last 16, and yet the Argentine is still struggling to get the best out of an all-star team in the French capital. It has become a pattern with Pochettino’s PSG, who have had to come from behind to win three of their last four home games in Ligue 1 and also recovered from losing positions in both legs of their recent Champions League double-header against RB Leipzig.
Sitting eight points clear at the top after just 12 games, PSG are on course to reclaim the French title they lost to Lille last season. However they have found themselves behind in four league games in total before coming back to take all three points. Wins against Lyon, Metz, Angers and Lille were all achieved with goals in the 87th minute or later.
The fighting spirit and the never-say-die attitude exemplified by so many late goals are admirable qualities, but Pochettino is struggling to put his stamp on a team that can be expected to perform better given their resources. Kylian Mbappe wasted several great chances against Leipzig. Neymar’s only goal this season was a penalty.
“It is obvious that we are not yet where we want to be,” said PSG sporting director Leonardo last weekend. “What I don’t really like is the way the team is judged and the unwarranted criticism of the coach and the players who were signed this year.”
Leonardo added: “We will see where we are at the end of the season. We want to win the Champions League and we have the means to do it, I’m convinced.”
Pochettino, who was appointed in
January to replace the sacked Thomas Tuchel, takes PSG to struggling Bordeaux this weekend.

Fixtures (kick-offs GMT)
Today: Lille v Angers (1600), Bordeaux v Paris Saint-Germain (2000)
Tomorrow: Marseille v Metz (1200), Lorient v Brest, Nantes v Strasbourg, Reims v Monaco, Saint-Etienne v Clermont (all 1400), Nice v Montpellier (1600), Rennes v Lyon (1945)

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