Paris Saint-Germain host Angers SCO in Ligue 1 on Wednesday after both sides booked their places in the Coupe de France round of 32. The French champions have won two of their three games since returning to action post-FIFA World Cup, but they also lost to RC Lens which spoiled their unbeaten record this season. The visitors managed a penalty win over RC Strasbourg Alsace who sacked Julien Stephan after their elimination but two Championnat defeats means that Le SCO remains rock bottom and seven points adrift of safety.
This could be the first chance to see world champion Lionel Messi in action and Parisien boss Christophe Galtier admitted that the legendary Argentine's future is currently being discussed: "There are talks," said the French tactician on Tuesday. "The sporting management have exchanged with Leo over his future. I do not know exactly where it lies. Leo seems happy in Paris to me. You also have to consider his position in relation to PSG's project. It is not a subject that we discuss together."
Galtier also weighed in on French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet's comments regarding Zinedine Zidane and was also quizzed about the possibility of Kylian Mbappe captaining Les Bleus soon: "Zizou deserves respect and I am certain that he has the respect of absolutely everybody," said the PSG head coach. "The words used created a strong reaction. I will not comment on those words. I am not Didier Deschamps and I do not think that he will make a wrong decision (regarding Hugo Lloris' replacement as captain). Kylian is 24 with a lot of experience and some incredible performances. Being captain is responsibility -- with or without the armband, Kylian is a team and locker room leader."
Here's our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
- Date: Wednesday, Jan. 11 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
- Location: Parc des Princes -- Paris
- TV: beIN Sports USA | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
- Odds: PSG -1000; Draw: +900; Angers +2000 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
PSG: Marco Verratti is out injured and will be reassessed later this week while Mbappe should return to training on Thursday -- he is not in Wednesday's squad. Achraf Hakimi is suspended, but Neymar, and Messi are back in training with the latter in line make his first appearance since winning the World Cup with Argentina. Presnel Kimpembe misses out through injury, but Nuno Mendes and Renato Sanches are on the mend despite missing out on the group here. There is also the matter of a prestigious friendly to play in Saudi Arabia later this month, which the star names will be expected to feature in.
Galtier also hinted at a start for 16-year-old talent Warren Zaire Emery with some big praise ahead of the match and a number of PSG's top young talents in the squad: "He is capable of starting a Ligue 1 game," he said. "Warren is also capable of starting a UEFA Champions League encounter. I am convinced of it and we have all been convinced of it for some time now. What comforts me in our view and analysis of Warren is that our top players share the same opinion of him."
Angers: Assuming that he plays, all eyes will be on star man Azzedine Ounahi after his World Cup showing alongside Hakimi for Morocco. Abdel Bouhazama is now in charge and will be hoping to guide the team away from the foot of the table. However, with many first team figures missing training 48 hours before such a big game, it could be that a weakened side takes to the pitch in the capital.
This is the sort of game where PSG run up a big score as part of the reaction to their recent loss in Lens. Expect a few goals and probably not even a consolation effort for Angers who should look to their home form as a means to at least attempt survival. Pick: PSG 4, Angers 0.