France to resume normal services on Wednesday Kylian Mbappe with Neymar Both will start their Ligue 1 season again for PSG, at home to struggling Strasbourg after 45 days on ice at the World Cup. Lionel MessiHowever, he will not feature in the round of 16 as he remains at home celebrating Argentina’s success in the World Cup final in Qatar. However, the club were encouraged last week by reports that the 35-year-old Messi will be on the verge of a one-year extension to his contract, which is due to expire this summer.
Mbappe scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final, but it was still lost as France lost on penalties. Ashrafi Hakimione of the standouts in Morocco’s run to the semi-finals.
Mbappe, Messi and Hakimi are just three of 14 Ligue 1 players from eight different clubs who reached the semi-finals in Qatar.
Neymar, whose Brazil side lost to Croatia in the quarter-finals, made his comeback with his compatriots on Thursday Marquinhosboth are expected to play in Wednesday’s match at the Parc des Princes.
PSG are currently five points clear of second-placed Lens, who they meet in Flanders on Sunday.
Lens, meanwhile, will keep the pressure on Paris Saint-Germain when they travel to Nice on Thursday.
Third-placed Rennes have Croatia’s Lovro Majer and on-loan Welsh defender Joe Rodon back from the game in Qatar, and they travel to Reims on Thursday.
“For me it’s the second restart, with the same uncertainty and the same unknowns before the first league game of the season,” said the Rennes boss. Bruno Genesio. “We’ll see which teams do it best.”
Marseille are just one point behind fourth place and host Toulouse, who are wobbling in the middle.
“Good Boy” Tagliafico
Messi isn’t the only World Cup winner in Ligue 1 – nicholas Tagliafico has also been enjoying his time in the sun and will miss Lyon’s game against Brest on Wednesday.
“Tagliafico has become a world champion and I take this opportunity to congratulate him,” said Lyon coach Laurent Blanc, who took charge of Peter Bosz in five games when he took over in October. Fired after losing.
“He’s coming back on January 1 and wed on the 28. He’s got a lot to celebrate at the moment.
“I hope he can come back in a good state. The world champion is nothing. May he return soon.”
Lyon are eighth in the table and 10 points off a Champions League place, prompting Blanc to insist they need to get busy in the January transfer window if they are to compete.
“We have to improve the team,” he said on Monday. “I didn’t ask for anything at all. I told my bosses, my directors, if we want to achieve what we set out to do, we have to improve the team. That’s it.”
The relegation zone will also be in the spotlight as bottom-bottom Angers are three points behind Strasbourg, while Ajaccio are just four points and two places above.
Wednesday (1400 GMT unless otherwise stated)
Ajaccio v. Angers, Troyes v. Nantes, Auxerre v. Monaco (1600), Clermont v. Lille (1800), Brest v. Lyon, Paris Saint-Germain v. Strasbourg (all for 2000)
Thursday (2000 GMT unless otherwise stated)
Lorient v Montpellier (1600), Reims v Rennes (1800), Marseille v Toulouse, Nice v Lens
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from syndicated feeds.)
Featured Video of the Day
Anurag Thakur celebrates for Indian blind cricket team after T20 World Cup win
topics mentioned in this article