Paris Saint-Germain are into a difficult February. Olympique de Marseille have already knocked them out of the Coupe de France, AS Monaco are up this weekend, Lille OSC, and OM come again in Ligue 1 as well as Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League. Some pessimists in the French capital already believe that the damage has been done and that this season will not amount to much, others believe that Les Parisiens will react favorably to the challenging circumstances. However, one thing is clear and undisputable: PSG have not been the same since the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Unbeaten across all competitions before the tournament, it did not take long for Christophe Galtier’s men to be tripped up in Ligue 1. RC Lens and Stade Rennais both got home wins while Folarin Balogun’s Stade de Reims also took points away from their trip to Paris, and they have now crashed out of the Coupe de France to bitter rivals OM.
Kylian Mbappe is out for the next few weeks and a major doubt to be fit to face Bayern at Parc des Princes next week despite Julian Nagelsmann suspecting that it is a bluff. That is despite the France international being given time off post-Qatar, having returned early to help the team in the immediate aftermath.
Mbappe has often been there to bail his team out under both bosses but now that the Frenchman is absent, there is added emphasis on Lionel Messi and Neymar in attack. The World Cup winner has remained fairly productive since returning to domestic action but the Brazilian has struggled, yet both were in incredible early-season form ahead of Qatar. Messi did not have the desired impact against Marseille.
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