Lionel Messi is set to make his first appearance for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) since winning the FIFA World Cup with Argentina at the end of last year. The Argentine is available for Angers' visit to the Parc des Princes tonight (January 11).
The 35-year-old wowed fans at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, lifting the illustrious trophy for the first time in his career. He also won the Golden Ball for his exploits during the campaign, scoring seven goals and contributing three assists in seven games.
Messi now turns his attention to club football after celebrating his triumph in the Middle East. PSG are flying high at the top of Ligue 1, holding a four-point lead over second-placed Lens. The irrepressible forward is a welcome returnee for Christophe Galtier's side.
He has bagged 12 goals and 14 assists in 19 appearances across competitions this season. Parisians fans can expect to see him line up alongside Neymar against Angers. The pair has not played for PSG since the FIFA World Cup break.
The Parisians face an Angers side that sit bottom of Ligue 1, losing 13 of 17 league games. Messi will be licking his lips at the prospect of coming up against a defence that has conceded 37 goals.
Lionel Messi set to return for PSG, Kylian Mbappe misses out
Lionel Messi will likely be in the frontline alongside Neymar, but they will be without their French teammate Mbappe. Galtier has confirmed that the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot winner and Achraf Hakimi are unavailable for the Angers game.
Mbappe went toe-to-toe with Messi in the final of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, scoring a phenomenal hat-trick. Eventually, that was in vain, as France fell to Argentina 4-2 on penalties after a pulsating 3-3 draw in extra time.
He netted eight goals in the tournament, taking his tally to 12 in just 14 World Cup appearances. The Frenchman immediately returned to PSG after his heartbreaking final defeat to La Abiceleste, featuring in the side's 2-1 win over Strasbourg and 3-1 defeat to Lens.
However, he misses out on facing Angers, as he takes his due ten-day vacation following the World Cup in the Middle East. Lionel Messi and Neymar, meanwhile, will be tasked with providing the goods in attack in Mbappe's absence. The next time the trio may be lining up together could be against Rennes on Sunday (January 15).