Lionel Messi will make his second Champions League debut almost 17 years after the first as Paris Saint-Germain travels to Club Brugge on Wednesday.
The Belgians look nailed on to struggle against insurmountable odds in their pool, and a front three of Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé makes for a nightmarish start to the competition.
How to Watch
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 15
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Venue: Jan Breydel Stadium, Bruges, Belgium
That ‘MNM’ triumvirate promises to be one of the most menacing forward lineups on the planet this season, and they take their first steps on the continent at the Jan Breydel Stadium.
Messi and Neymar have previously dazzled alongside one another as Barcelona teammates, with little proof required as to whether they can flourish in tandem.
Former Argentina defender Pablo Zabaleta spoke sympathetically for PSG’s opponents when discussing the potency of Mauricio Pochettino’s attacking trio with beIN Sport:
There might be questions as to how much Messi could be involved in Bruges, however, considering he’s played only 24 minutes in PSG colors since arriving in France.
The Argentina captain made a cameo off the bench against Reims just prior to the recent international break, and Club Brugge could provide the ideal setting to earn his first start.
Those chances look all the brighter considering Ángel Di María and Idrissa Gueye are suspended, having each been sent off in last season’s semi-final exit against Manchester City.
A calf injury means Sergio Ramos is still not ready to make his PSG debut, meanwhile, as Marco Verratti and Layvin Kurzawa are also dealing with injuries.
It was less than two years ago that these teams first met in the 2019-20 Champions League group stage, when Les Parisiens put five past their hosts before beating Real Madrid to first in the pool.
Pochettino will hope a repeat is in the cards as his side looks to pip City and RB Leipzig to top spot in Group A, where Club Brugge look bound to be the proverbial points machine.
Regional restrictions may apply.