April 19, (THEWILL) – Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that Lionel Messi, and some of their other big names, will not play in Paris Saint-Ligue Germain’s Ligue 1 fixture against Angers on Wednesday, as the chance opens up for fringe players.
Messi, who has eight goals and 13 assists in 29 games since arriving in Paris last summer, is recovering from inflammation in his left achilles tendon and will miss PSG’s possibly pivotal encounter.
By bettering whatever second-placed Marseille plays against Nantes, Pochettino’s side will win their 10th Ligue 1 title, equaling St Etienne as the competition’s most successful team.
Having already lost Neymar to suspension, Pochettino stated Messi will be among numerous players who will miss the encounter, perhaps giving some of PSG’s younger players a chance to in the spotlight.
“Some players like Leo Messi, Marco Verratti and Presnel Kimpembe will be missing tomorrow because they are still undergoing treatment,” Pochettino said. “Neymar will be suspended.
“It will be an opportunity for the players who don’t play much to get some game time and it will allow the youngsters to gain experience.
“Players such as Xavi Simons and Edouard Michut, they have been gaining experience. They are the ones who could really play a key role in the club’s future.”
As THEWILL reported, PSG overcame Marseille 2-1 last time out to go closer to reclaiming the French title, and they are looking to keep their title hopes alive by beating Angers for the 12th time in a row.
Despite having a 15-point advantage at the top of Ligue 1 with only six games left, Pochettino dismissed claims that PSG’s dominance of the league would prevent them from motivating themselves on Wednesday, saying their goal was to claim the title “as soon as possible”.
“This match will be important because it could allow us to win a 10th title if we win,” he added. “The goal is to continue the momentum from our last few games. We’ve had a string of successes and we want to continue that momentum.
“For the moment, the title is not secured yet, we are focused on the trip to Angers and on winning. The sooner the better. Personally, it would be an immense joy to win this 10th French championship title for Paris Saint-Germain.
“Motivation is always there because it is necessary to win. We have to respect football and our opponents until the last day because that is the best way to perform well. We hope to win the title as soon as possible!”
Despite the attacking trio of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, and Messi scoring each of PSG’s past 13 league goals, the latter two have been jeered by their own fans in recent weeks following the team’s devastating Champions League last-16 defeat to Real Madrid.
While Pochettino acknowledged the right of PSG fans to have an opinion on the team’s current status, he expressed his hope that when the title is confirmed, supporters will come together to rejoice.
“Everyone has the right to have their say. I hope that we can celebrate a 10th title in the club’s history together, it’s important. For the future, I hope there will be a good relationship, it is crucial for any club that aspires to win all the trophies,” Pochettino noted.