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The magic of the Coupe de France is back and French champions Paris Saint-Germain will take on Saudi-owned, third-tier relegation battlers LB Chateauroux on Friday in the Round of 64. Superstars Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar will not feature in the game. Instead, it is more likely that the trio return together against Angers SCO in Ligue 1 next Wednesday with a largely second-string side to battle Chateauroux this week.

"Leo trained on Wednesday and Thursday," said PSG head coach Christophe Galtier of Messi ahead of the clash with Chateauroux after the legendary Argentine returned to club duty to a hero's welcome. "He will not play on Friday. We will make sure that he is ready for the next game. I will be attentive to what he tells me, but we want him ready to go for the following match."

"Neymar's absence has been planned," added the French tactician on the Brazilian superstar who missed the 3-1 league loss away at RC Lens last Sunday through suspension. "Like all of the players who went to the World Cup, we decided that he would rest his injured ankle during this period."

Here's our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:

How to watch and odds

  • Date: Friday, Jan. 6 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
  • Location: Stade Gaston Petit -- Chateauroux, France
  • TV: Fox Soccer Plus | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
  • Odds: Chateauroux +2200; Draw: +750; PSG -1600 (via Caesars Sportsbook)

Team news

PSG: Expect to see a deep rotation from Galtier in Chateauroux with many players missing from training the day before the game. Gianluigi Donnarumma will be replaced by Keylor Navas between the sticks while Mbappe remains in the U.S. taking a deserved breather after making himself available for club duty instead of immediately jetting off. 

"Keylor had about 10 days off after the World Cup to get ready to come back to compete," said Galtier of the Costa Rican. "He did a bit of individual training and yes, he will play on Friday."

"I saw what happened at the basketball game in New York and that sort of thing is very rare," added Galtier on the scenes which Mbappe stirred up when he attended a Brooklyn Nets game alongside Achraf Hakimi. "We must appreciate having Kylian at the club and playing in France. Kylian has not changed -- he is simply an intelligent boy. He is the same Kylian who we have had day-to-day since the season started."


Despite being a team normally associated with Ligue 2, Chateauroux are battling against relegation from France's Championnat National 1 (semiprofessional third tier) and have more pressing concerns than a potential Coupe de France battle. Given their Saudi ownership and PSG's Qatari backing, this is a rivalry of sorts but not one that either side should be too bothered about in the grand scheme of things. Expect to see some unfamiliar faces in the Parisien XI and plenty of top young talent getting valuable game time. Pick: Chateauroux 1, PSG 3.