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Ligue 1: Messi Back in Action for Paris

Paris Saint-Germain vs Reims

After being given the night off in their last outing, Lionel Messi is going to be back for PSG’s Sunday visit to Reims for their next Ligue 1 match.

Messi last saw action for the Parisiens in their 5-4 friendly win over Cristiano Ronaldo’s Riyadh All-Star XI last Friday in Saudi Arabia, where he scored the first goal of the match.

Because of a short turnaround between games, the 35-year-old was rested in PSG’s 7-0 demolition of US Pays de Cassel on Tuesday, so he should be able to rejoin Neymar and Kylian Mbappe on Sunday.

PSG are still on top of the Ligue 1 standings. However, their once seemingly insurmountable lead has been reduced to just three points over second-placed Lens, and they would be under more pressure if they didn’t take care of business against Reims.

Talking Points

PSG to be led by captain Mbappe

The Parisiens are still the overwhelming favourites to win the Ligue 1 title, but their margin of error is smaller than before. In fact, by the time PSG hosted Reims, Lens may have already moved level with them at 47 points.

Neymar will look to outperform Reims in their next Ligue 1 meeting.
Neymar in action during their match against Pays de Cassel

They have lost two of their last three league games, so they must get back on track as fast as possible, especially with the Champions League set to restart in the coming weeks.

The good news for Galtier is that he will see key returns ahead of Sunday, as Marco Verratti (thigh) and Nuno Mendes (hamstring) are ready to return from their respective injuries.

Nordi Mukiele and Marquinhos are listed as questionable for this game, while Presnel Kimpembe is still recovering from the heel injury he sustained while on national team duty for Les Bleus last November.

If both Marquinhos and Kimpembe are not available this weekend, then Kylian Mbappe is going to be the team’s official skipper since he was recently named vice-captain, although this has drawn mixed reactions.

Mbappe hasn’t been exactly the ideal leader for PSG with the drama he brought to the locker room earlier this season, but his quality on the pitch is undeniable. The 24-year-old forward comes into Reims in superb form, as he plundered five goals in their rout of Pays de Cassel.

Will Still living the dream at Reims

Will Still has never tasted defeat with Reims in his first major coaching role. Since taking over from Oscar Garcia, Reims have gone unbeaten in Ligue 1, although most of them were draws, so they’re still at the bottom half of the table.

Reims should win more games in the coming weeks if they continue to progress under Still. They aren’t stacked compared to PSG, but they do have quality players who could wreak havoc in the final third.


Folarin Balogun, on loan from Arsenal, is the team’s top scorer with 10 goals, and he’s playing with a chip on his shoulder. Flanking him are Junya Ito and Marshall Munetsi, who have accounted for seven goals and two assists this term.

Reims will most likely stay compact against PSG, looking to counterattack when the opportunity presents itself.


PSG were held to a goalless draw by Reims in their reverse fixture last October.

Reims were actually the more aggressive side in the final third with 24 shots to PSG’s 11, although the latter had more possession (64-per cent to 36). And Sergio Ramos was sent off in this fixture, which almost cost the Parisiens three points.

Christophe Galtier’s side has won eight of their last nine Ligue 1 home games against Reims, with the defeat being a 2-0 result in September 2019. Overall, they’re unbeaten in their last 31 Ligue 1 home games (W27, D4), scoring in each of the last 20.

Reims are undefeated in their last 11 Ligue 1 matches (W4, D7), which is the longest current streak in the competition and the team’s longest such run in the French top-flight since March 2019 (13).

Betting Tip

The SBOTOP Ligue 1 2023 odds are unsurprisingly in favour of PSG, as they’re installed at 1.25 to win, whereas Reims are the underdogs at 8.75, and a draw is priced at 6.20 in the 1X2 market.

Reims have shown that they can hang around against the defending Ligue 1 champions, as shown in October. But during the said game, only Kylian Mbappe was present from the famous MNM triumvirate, and now they’re complete on Sunday.

Mbappe, Neymar, and Messi are expected to entertain us with new Ligue 1 2023 highlights, and they will prove to be too much to handle for Will Still’s side.



⭐⭐= €10 (CONFIDENT)


Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.




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