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PSG's Messi to miss match against Leipzig, Mbappe included in squad

PSG's Messi to miss match against Leipzig, Mbappe included in squad

Paris St Germain's Lionel Messi after the first half. (Photo: REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier)

PARIS: Lionel Messi was not included in Paris St Germain's squad to face RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday but forward Kylian Mbappe made the selection.

Messi had limped off during their 2-1 win over Lille in Ligue 1 on Friday and was not included in the 21-member squad named on Tuesday for their Champions League Group A game in Germany.

The Argentine had been replaced by Mauro Icardi in Friday's match after having missed training a day earlier with a muscle problem.

Team mate Mbappe, however, who had to sit out the Lille game with an infection, was included.

"We hope that (Messi's) evolution will be good and that he can be with us as quickly as possible. I cannot say anything more," PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino told reporters.

"(Mbappe) always has a good motivation and the desire to help the team. He works very well."

With Messi out, his Argentina team mate Angel Di Maria will get a chance to play his first Champions League game of the season.

Di Maria, 33, was PSG's standout performer against reigning league champions Lille in Mbappe's absence, providing the assist for the equaliser before scoring the winner two minutes from fulltime.

"All the players are important but some shine on their own. Angel brings balance to the team, he brings his experience," Pochettino added.

"He's been here for six years, he's very important. We can always count on players like him.

"Teams need balance, this ability of all players to invest in all phases of the game. The collective remains the most important. If this works perfectly, the individualities will appear in a natural way - we continue to work on this balance."

The French club are top of Group A with seven points from three games, with Manchester City second on six. Club Brugge are on four while Leipzig have yet to earn a point after losing all three games so far.

Source: Reuters

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