More injuries for PSG and a dubious defensive formation
First things first, Galtier quickly confirmed that Messi’s late substitution was precautionary and the Argentine genius didn’t get injured in yesterday’s game. Bullet dodged, my friends.
More worrisome, though, was the update he provided on left-wing-back Nuno Mendes. “Mendes had a big muscular incident and he will be out for a few matches,” said Galtier. That is no bueno, amigos.
A “few matches”, this season, could easily mean that Mendes is gone until right before the World Cup break. It could also mean that in such a packed calendar like the one Paris will need to navigate through the next six weeks, playing a match every three days, Mendes might be back as soon as after Le Classique taking place Sunday, Oct. 16. We can only wait and see how things develop.
One thing is clear, though, and it is that this defensive line is not going to keep up with the likes of Erling Haaland or Karim Benzema when (if) Paris meets any of the top-tier teams fighting to lift the UEFA Champions League once the knockout stages arrive in February.
Linking back to the last point, it’d make sense for Paris Saint-Germain to change its formation of preference. A line of four defenders with a deep-lying midfielder would probably help the team organize itself better on both the defensive and offensive-transition phases of the game.
Danilo – a natural defensive midfielder – is playing makeshift center-back for PSG. Marquinhos, once a master on command, has shown some blips of late. Sergio Ramos, as reborn as he’s looked this season, is an aging veteran who sometimes misses on assignments and leaves doors wide open.
Things are not getting better with Nuno Mendes now out for weeks and Presnel Kimpembe still expected to remain out for a few more games, too.
The attacking trio of Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe is a virtual guarantee for goals just on pure talent alone, but they won’t be helping at the back any time soon. Packing the midfield with a trio comprised of Verratti, Vitinha, and Danilo to go with a defensive line in which things are tighter with a couple of full-backs and two center-backs should be the way Paris shapes in high-stakes games, or dark times are ahead.