PSG kept waiting for record-setting Messi’s home bow

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick for Argentina in World Cup action but will have to wait for his PSG home debut

Having scored a hat-trick for Argentina in World Cup qualifying, Lionel Messi will have to wait for his home debut in France, possibly leaving Paris Saint-Germain without their star front three for Saturday’s Ligue 1 match against promoted side Clermont.

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino will be deprived of the majority of his South American contingent after their countries played World Cup qualifiers on Thursday.

The triple strike made Messi the top international goalscorer in South American football history with 79 goals, overtaking Pele.

The third member of the attacking trio, Kylian Mbappe, is still an injury doubt after leaving the France camp with a calf injury he suffered in their first qualifier of the international break against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The 2020 Champions League runners-up will be judged this season on their performances in the European competition, which they have never won despite the substantial injection of funds from their Qatari owners.

There could be a debut against Clermont for Portugal full-back Nuno Mendes, the lowest-profile of the summer arrivals.

“It’s a moment of great pride for me to have signed here among all these great players,” Nuno Mendes, who has won eight international caps, told PSG’s website. “I think it’s every player’s dream to play alongside them.

PSG are stronger favourites to win Ligue 1 than ever before — although Lille wrested the title from them last season — and their expensively assembled team already sit top after four wins from as many matches.

Marseille hit out at the French league (LFP) on Thursday, arguing that the punishment given to Nice for their fans’ behaviour during a suspended match between the two teams last month was too lenient.

Payet has been given a one-match ban, with Alvaro Gonzalez handed a two-game suspension.

“The club regrets that any invasion of the pitch affecting the safety and health of players is not sanctioned immediately and more firmly,” Marseille said in a statement.

Nice, backed by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, visit Nantes on Sunday.

— The Switzerland forward could make his debut for Lyon on Sunday against Strasbourg after joining from Liverpool for an initial fee of six million euros.

The 29-year-old Shaqiri will be hoping to become a key player for Lyon, after often finding himself on the periphery at Anfield and during spells at Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.

Six – Amount of teams still unbeaten in Ligue 1 this season. There are also six teams still winless.

10 – Assists made by PSG’s new full-back Hakimi since the start of last season.

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

jc / gj

Originally published as PSG kept waiting for record-setting Messi’s home bow

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