Lionel Messi has been ruled out of Paris St Germain’s Ligue 1 visit to Stade de Reims on Saturday with a calf injury, coach Christophe Galtier said.
“He asked to be replaced during the Champions League game (against Benfica on Wednesday). He has a little problem with his calf but he will be back to training on Sunday,” Galtier told a news conference on Friday.
There are more injury woes for PSG as fullback Nuno Mendes will be out of action for three weeks with a muscle injury while Kylian Mbappe is suffering from a throat infection.
The France forward, however, is expected to be included in the squad, Galtier said, though he could be on the bench, allowing 20-year-old Hugo Ekitike to be handed another start.
Unbeaten PSG leads the standings with 25 points from nine games, two ahead of second-placed Olympique de Marseille, which hosts bottom side AC Ajaccio on Saturday.
Galtier said he would stick to the usual defensive system when asked if he would change his three-man central defence to a steadier four-man backline in light of injuries to Mendes and Presnel Kimpembe, who is still out with a hamstring injury.
“I’m not going to change the system, especially because we do not have much time to work, having come back from Lisbon yesterday morning at 6am,” he explained.
After coming under fire for their alleged excessive use of planes to travel to Ligue 1 games, PSG will this time travel by bus for the 150km journey to Reims, Galtier added.