Paris Saint-Germain will face FC Nantes on Saturday at the Parc des Princes. Still, all eyes are on the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 return leg against Bayern Munich on March 8 at Allianz Arena.
Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe terrorized Olympique de Marseille’s defense. As a result, pundits are questioning whether PSG’s attack is more effective with this duo instead when Neymar Jr. is also involved.
RMC Sport pundit Daniel Riolo recently stated that manager Christophe Galtier has to bench the Brazilian. Ludovic Obraniak weighed in on the matter during his recent appearance on L’Equipe de Greg.
“Since the Marseille match, there has been a change in the system, which is more likely to satisfy the two who will be in front,” Obraniak said (h/t Canal Supporters). “The only problem I have is when he plays 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 and he plays with all three. We saw that it was not possible. At the top level, three players who don’t defend – let’s say two and a half because Neymartries a little harder than the other two – that’s impossible in modern football. So this system (the 3-5-2) allows you to be a little more compact. I’m not stigmatizing Neymar; I’m just saying that between Messi and Neymar, sometimes you have to make a choice.
“If we had put Neymar with Mbappé in Marseille, for me, the deal would have been the same. The two have this complicity on the ground; it does not move. The one-two, the passes… that could have worked too. Afterward, in this five-man system, there is also the possibility of putting Neymar in a high point rather than having a low point, which Galtier had done and had not gone so badly at the start of the season. But at that precise moment in a 4-4-2, it was impossible to play with Neymar because he was not at the level. Now, with the change of system and the choices of Galtier, we can incorporate it, but the coach will have to make his choices.”
Neymar will be out for the contest against Nantes after suffering an ankle injury during a 4-3 win over Lille OSC on Feb. 19. Galtier must decide whether he wants to integrate Neymar into the starting 11 against the Bundesliga side if he’s healthy and ready to play.
However, some might see it as a disruption of the Messi and Mbappe chemistry that could get PSG out of the 1-0 hole they currently find themselves. Nonetheless, Galtier has the final say and there will be plenty of criticism should he get the lineup wrong and the capital club crashes out.