Paris Saint-Germain boss Christophe Galtier is set to be working without three players for Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League Group H battle with Benfica at the Estadio da Luz.
The Ligue 1 champions are already without Marco Verratti (calf) and Presnel Kimpembe (hamstring) and Renato Sanches was forced off with a groin problem in the 2-1 win over Nice at the weekend.
The Portuguese was only on the pitch for 16 minutes as a substitute before re-entering the treatment room, but otherwise Galtier is well stocked for the trip to Sanches’ homeland.
Nordi Mukiele was left wanting for a Nice goal at the weekend but otherwise put in a good move to link up again with Marquinhos and Sergio Ramos ahead of Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Juan Bernat is certain to make way for Nuno Mendes on the left as Achraf Hakimi bombs from the right, while Galtier still has a few options in midfield following injuries to Verratti and Sanchez.
Vitinha has established himself as a busy starter for PSG and the Portuguese could be joined by compatriot Danilo Pereira on his return home – forcing Carlos Soler and Fabian Ruiz to accept places on the bench.
After coming off the bench to score the winner against Nice, Kylian Mbappe is now set to become PSG’s all-time top scorer in the UEFA Champions League when he replaces Hugo Ekitike alongside Neymar and Lionel Messi.
Benfica are still working on the defensive pair missing Joao Victor, Lucas Verissimo and Morato, and while the former is close to recovering from a serious knee injury, he will not be ready for midweek.
As is the case with Benfica, PSG have also navigated the 2022-23 season unbeaten so far – winning each of their last seven in all competitions – but not since October 2020 have the capital club kept a clean sheet away from home in Europe’s premier competition.
Benfica and PSG have not locked horns competitively since the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League group stage, where Les Parisiens thumped their Portuguese counterparts 3-0 at home before losing 2-1 away from home, and both managers are putting their unbeaten streaks on the line in Lisbon.
All good things must come to an end, and Benfica were the victims of that age-old saying at the weekend, as Roger Schmidt‘s side saw their remarkable winning run halted in a goalless stalemate with their Primeira Liga opponents on Saturday.
Prior to that 0-0 draw, Benfica had begun life in the 2022-23 campaign with 13 victories from 13 matches in all competitions during a sensational start to their new era under Schmidt, who has quickly steered As Aguias to first place in the Primeira Liga table – three points clear of Porto and Braga.
After opening their European campaign with a 2-0 success over Maccabi Haifa, Benfica made further waves in Europe with a 2-1 victory at Juventus’ Turin headquarters, as Joao Mario and David Neres cancelled out Arkadiusz Milik‘s fourth-minute opener.
Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Mukiele, Marquinhos, Ramos; Hakimi, Pereira, Vitinha, Mendes; Messi, Mbappe, Neymar
Benfica possible starting lineup:
Vlachodimos; Bah, A. Silva, Otamendi, Grimaldo; Florentino, Fernandez; Neres, R. Silva, Mario; Ramos
Benfica 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain