If it wasn’t for their ten-point cushion at the top of the table, PSG would be more than a little concerned ahead of Rennes’ visit to the Parc des Princes on Sunday afternoon. The league leaders are facing an unprecedented injury crisis, with the defence hit especially hard as virtually the entire back five is out of action.
With captain Marquinhos a doubt following the intercostal tear he sustained two weeks ago, and Presnel Kimpembe out for the season following an Achilles’ tendon injury, Kylian Mbappé is expected to captain the side against the Bretons. Sergio Ramos – arguably the team’s best performer in defence for the past month – was unable to complete training during the week after picking up a calf issue – the same injury that saw him miss out on the bulk of his first campaign in the French capital.
Both Achraf Hakimi and Nordi Mukiele are likely absentees, meaning the young Timothée Pembélé will get another chance in the right wing-back position. There could be a surprise among the centre-backs – while 17-year-old El Chadaille Bitshiabu could feature again after taking some of the blame for Bayern Munich’s opener ten days ago, his fellow teenager Warren Zaïre-Emery was also tested in that position in training after Ramos’ injury. A midfielder by trade, Zaïre-Emery was recently used as a right-back as well.
PSG likely XI v Rennes
Gianluigi Donnarumma – Timothée Pembélé, Danilo Pereira, El Chadaille Bitshiabu, Nuno Mendes – Vitinha, Marco Verratti, Fabián Ruiz – Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé. (L’Éq)
GFFN | Raphaël Jucobin