Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar Lionel Messi is reportedly set to miss the club's clash against FC Lorient. The two teams will meet at the Stade du Moustoir for a Ligue 1 encounter on Sunday (November 6).
According to PSG Talk, Messi is dealing with Achilles tendon inflammation and the Parisians don't want to risk him aggravating his condition. The report added that manager Christophe Galtier has decided to use youngster Hugo Ekitike as La Pulga's replacement against Lorient.
Ekitike arrived at the Parc des Princes on a deal worth around €35 million from Stade Reims this summer. The 20-year-old hasn't played much as he is competing with Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr., Kylian Mbappe, Carlos Soler and Pablo Sarabia for a starting berth.
He has aggregated just 181 minutes in 10 matches across all competitions for his new club this term and has started just once. Ekitke looks set to get his second start of the 2022-23 campaign on Sunday and will look to leave a lasting impression on Galtier.
Lionel Messi will be a big miss for PSG
In both previous instances, the Parisians failed to pick up all three points. Messi missed their 1-1 draw with SL Benfica in the UEFA Champions League and a 0-0 Ligue 1 stalemate with Stade Reims last month.
They will hope to turn that record around against Lorient, but could still feel the former Barcelona forward's absence. Messi has been in stellar form this season, scoring 12 goals and laying out 18 assists in just 14 matches across all competitions.
He played a key role in their last league encounter as well, notching up a goal and an assist to help Galtier's side beat FC Troyes 4-3 away from home.
The forward also played a key role the last time PSG faced Lorient. The two teams clashed on Matchday 30 of the 2021-22 Ligue 1 season, with the Parisians running out 5-1 victors. Lionel Messi scored the fourth goal, with Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappe recording a brace apiece.