Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) fans have reacted furiously to Christophe Galtier's decision to name a much-changed backline against Rennes on Sunday (March 19).
Galtier has made plenty of changes to the side that beat Brest 2-1 last Saturday (March 11). Seventeen-year-old El Chadaille Bitshiabu has been handed a start in place of the injured Sergio Ramos. Meanwhile, Juan Bernat comes into the defence alongside Danilo Pereira who started last weekend's win in an unfamiliar back three.
The defence Galtier has put out has not gone down well with fans. Bitshiabu has made just nine senior appearances across competitions this season. Bernat has lacked game time, starting 15 of 28 games, scoring two goals and providing four assists.
Meanwhile, Gianluigi Donnarumma starts in goal in front of a back five comprising Bernat, Danilo, Bitshiabu, Timothee Pembele and Nuno Mendes. Vitinha, Marco Verratti and Fabian Ruiz make up the midfield three. The fearsome duo of Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi starts in attack.
PSG's season now rests on defending their Ligue 1 crown. They were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League by Bayern Munich in the last 16. All of Galtier's eggs are in the Ligue 1 basket, and he's feeling the pressure at the Parc des Princes.
His team selection has done him no favours among Parisians fans. One fan thinks PSG are not serious:
"That backline lmao this is not a serious club Tudor still has a chance to win Ligue 1."
Here's how Twitter reacted to Galtier's questionable backline selection against Rennes:
PSG legend Juninho says he won't be surprised if fans boo Messi
There has been a lot of talk before the game between PSG and Rennes about Messi potentially being booed by ultras. More Champions League heartbreak is cited as a reason the legendary forward may be targeted.
However, that will reportedly not be the case despite the Argentine not yet agreeing on a new contract with the Ligue 1 giants. His current deal expires at the end of the season. Ultras are not expected to target Messi during the clash at Parc des Princes.
Juninho, though, understands if Parisians fans do decide to boo Messi, telling RMC Sport:
"Even if he is Messi, he is still a human being. In the fans' minds, the last game he's in is the Bayern game, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if he gets booed."
"We play; we are well paid; we do a job that we really like. ... but in the end, it is for the fans that we do everything."
It will be intriguing to see what reception Messi gets when he takes the field against Rennes. He will look to add to his 18 goals and 17 assists he has conjured up this season.