Could Neymar, Lionel Messi or Kylian Mbappe be destabilised by PSG’s formation change?

As reported by L’Équipe, PSG coach Christophe Galtier is considering abandoning his 3-4-3 set up, used almost ubiquitously in Paris since his arrival this summer, in favour of Paris’ traditional 4-3-3 as he fears for his team’s form.

The three man defence was pre-ordained by incoming de-facto sporting director Luis Campos this off-season, before he picked Galtier as the club’s new coach and set about his business in the transfer market. However, despite some impressive early season form, clubs, both domestically and in Europe, have started to figure out more effective ways to defend against the formation, lead by a narrower triple threat of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé. As a result, despite remaining undefeated, PSG’s attacking potency has slowed of late.

This situation is compounded by two frustrating injuries. Having failed to sign a centre-back this summer, Presnel Kimpembe’s absence has forced defensive midfielder Danilo into an awkward role on the left of the three while wing-back Nuno Mendes’ injury, picked up in Lisbon this week, will result in less dynamism on the left wing via Juan Bernat. In the short term, a four man defence would allow more balance, better suit Bernat (who has struggled for intensity since a major knee injury) as a more orthodox left-back and see Danilo move back into midfield or allow Galtier to include new signings Carlos Soler, Fabian Ruiz or Renato Sanches more often.

However, it would mean either Sergio Ramos or Kimpembe would need to be dropped longer term while the fluid triangular positioning of Messi, Mbappé and Neymar may need to be adjusted, which would be a risk given the form of all three players, especially Messi and Neymar, in the current set-up. All would likely be charged with more defensive work should they revert to last season’s wider three man attack with Messi on the right and Neymar on the left. As a result, Galtier is reluctant to change tact but fears his for his team’s potency otherwise and the coming weeks will be crucial for PSG’s tactical progression beyond the World Cup.


More European Football News