How will Lionel Messi fit with PSG? Four lineup options for star-studded squad

Neymar, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe could be about as near an All-Star assault because the soccer world has ever seen, and it may quickly be Paris Saint-Germain’s actuality because the arrival of the legendary Argentine on a free switch edges nearer this week.

Mauricio Pochettino is already spoiled for selection with Angel Di Maria, Marco Verratti, Achraf Hakimi and Georginio Wijnaldum making up a number of the supporting solid at Parc des Princes and the query is how the 49-year-old will accommodate all of it.

On prime of these names, there’s additionally Mauro Icardi after he scored within the Ligue 1 opener in opposition to ESTAC Troyes, Pablo Sarabia, Julian Draxler, Rafinha and the rising expertise of Arnaud Kalimuendo who may all function in assault or no less than in forward-thinking midfield roles.

Not all of these gamers are more likely to nonetheless be in Paris by the top of the switch window, however even reducing numbers by half would nonetheless depart Pochettino with appreciable power in depth and the chance that one or two are requested to play makeshift roles is excessive.

So how would PSG line up with Messi? Listed here are 4 lineup choices.

1. Messi within the center

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Ought to PSG affirm his signature, the most certainly state of affairs is that Messi comes into the Parisian assault and both occupies one in all two superior attacking roles with Mbappe to 1 aspect and Neymar tucked in behind, or that the French and Brazilian superstars flank Messi as an alternative and permit him to withdraw to choose up the ball.

A 4-2-3-1 has been Pochettino’s default form thus far since his return to the membership as head coach in the beginning of this yr, however neither Mbappe nor Neymar will likely be superb to play on the level of such a system with Messi central and an getting old Di Maria to additionally think about out broad.

The necessity for a combative midfielder may additionally see Leandro Paredes deployed as an alternative of Di Maria or Wijnaldum though Idrissa Gueye is unlikely to be technical sufficient to benefit common begins.

2. Two up prime?

The 4-4-2 would possibly work when it comes to accommodating the star expertise within the squad, significantly the likes of Hakimi out broad, however there’s little room for an actual defensive midfielder with so many attacking threats within the group.

Verratti and Wijnaldum are realistically the 2 gamers finest suited to taking part in within the center and providing no less than a minimal defensive presence however even nonetheless, they provide far more when greater up the pitch than they do on the sting of their very own field, which may play into Paredes’ arms.

A 4-2-2-2 has not likely been seen in Paris since Carlo Ancelotti’s days, however it could provide a tough match for all the gamers bar Presnel Kimpembe, who’s at the moment that includes on this again 4 as a stable choice at left-back whereas Juan Bernat continues to be working his method again from damage. Layvin Kurzawa may additionally emerge as a shock common.

3. Three on the again?

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One other risk, given Sergio Ramos’ arrival and the presence of two prime extra high quality central defenders in Marquinhos and Kimpembe, is that PSG deploy a 3-4-3 system which might be superb for Hakimi as he roams up and down the suitable flank, however not essentially excellent news for Di Maria.

This would possibly solely work if Bernat in the end turns into out there or a wildcard like Kurzawa emerges with some consistency and one member of this XI would additionally drop to the bench. Clearly, accidents and health will dictate availability, however on paper no less than, Wijnaldum may not be a complete lock within the XI whereas Di Maria’s age would possibly rely in opposition to him commonly.

4. All-out assault

The opposite risk will seemingly give opposing coaches nightmares. A 4-1-4-1 or 3-2-4-1 would imply much less emphasis on protection and any kind of stability, however produce pure attacking firepower probably extra ferocious than something that the membership recreation has ever seen — a really scary thought for Ligue 1 and UEFA Champions League defenses.

This state of affairs may additionally see Verratti pushed greater up the pitch as soon as extra which has been a desire of Pochettino’s since his arrival when playmaking choices have been restricted or make the most of Wijnaldum or a Julian Draxler additional ahead.


Contemplating that Pochettino’s go-to formation with PSG thus far has been a tough 4-2-3-1, it could not be an enormous shock to see him beginning with that, particularly as all his gamers work their method again to full match health and undesirable figures are moved on.

A possible goal date to have a full squad out there and at full match sharpness will realistically be the opening UEFA Champions League group conflict in September which could possibly be the second when the South American tactician decides to wed himself to a specific setup.

Nonetheless, assessing all the potentialities, a 3-4-3 seems to take advantage of sense given the expertise assembled and their most popular roles on the pitch.

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