Messi starts for PSG against Guardiola's Man City

By Sports Desk September 28, 2021

Lionel Messi will start for Paris Saint-Germain against Manchester City in their blockbuster Champions League clash.

Messi has missed PSG's last two games because of a knee injury and was a doubt for the match at the Parc des Princes.

However, he will get the chance to face a City side led by former boss Pep Guardiola, with whom he won three LaLiga titles and two Champions League crowns during their storied time together at Barcelona.

Messi was named in PSG's starting XI, meaning he will line up alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in a frightening front three.

In his pre-match media conference, Guardiola conceded he did not have a plan to stop that trio.

"I don't know, with this amount of quality I don't know what we should do to stop them," he said.

"The talent cannot be stopped – we have to do it as a team. Individually we cannot put the pressure on one player to solve the skills and talents they have.

"We have to be compact, together and help each other, know we are going to suffer and be in pain, and how you handle the pain in these moments…you have to be able to suffer for 90 minutes."

Hoping to help heighten City's suffering will be midfielder Marco Verratti, who had also been troubled by a knee problem.

Verratti sustained the injury while on international duty with Italy and has made only two appearances for PSG this season, the last coming in August when Messi made his debut at Reims.

But Verratti also has a place in the starting XI and will hope to produce a more telling impact than in his previous Champions League appearance, which saw PSG knocked out by City in the semi-finals back in May.

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