Mauricio Pochettino confirms Lionel Messi absence as PSG look to secure title


Lionel Messi will be absent when Paris Saint-Germain attempt to wrap up the Ligue 1 title during Wednesday’s trip to Angers, Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed.

Messi, who has scored eight goals and 13 assists in 29 games since moving to the French capital last summer, is receiving treatment for swelling in his left achilles artery, and will face a possible PSG game.

The Pochettino boys will close out their 10th Ligue 1 title in club history by improving Marseille’s result against Nantes, level with St Etienne as the most successful club in the competition.

However, with Neymar missing out on a suspension, Pochettino has confirmed that Messi is one of the few players to miss the game, which could have given PSG’s younger players a chance.

“Other players like Leo Messi, Marco Verratti, and Presnel Kimpembe will be out tomorrow because they are still being treated,” said Pochettino. “Neymar will be suspended.

“It will be an opportunity for the less experienced players to have time for the game and it will allow the younger ones to gain experience.

“Players like Xavi Simons and Edouard Michut, have been gaining experience. They are the ones who can play the biggest role in the future of the team.”

PSG beat Marseille 2-1 for the last time to secure the French title, and are looking to secure a top spot by scoring 12 consecutive victories for Angers.

Despite boasting a 15-point lead in the Ligue 1 conference with just six games to go, Pochettino denied the allegations that PSG’s dominance of the tournament would mean they were struggling to motivate themselves on Wednesday, saying their goal was to close the trophy “immediately. “.

“This game will be important because it will allow us to win the 10th title if we win,” he added. “The aim is to continue the momentum of our last few games. We have had a series of successes and we want to continue that momentum.

“At the moment, the trophy is not yet guaranteed, it is focused on the trip to Angers and winning.

“Motivation is always there because we need to win. We have to respect football and our opponents until the last day because that is the best way to do well. We hope to win the title as soon as possible!”

Although three attacking midfielders Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, and Messi have scored in each of PSG’s last 13 league goals, the latter have been tossed around by their fans in recent weeks after the team suffered a humiliating Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

Although Pochettino respects the right of PSG fans to have a say in the team’s situation, he has reiterated his hope that fans will come together to celebrate their title once it has been confirmed.

“Everyone has the right to vote,” Pochettino added. “[But] I hope we can celebrate the 10th title together in the history of the team, it is important. In the future, I hope there will be a good relationship, it is important for any club that wishes to win every trophy.”

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