Kylian Mbappe injury: How Paris Saint Germain will cope without the Frenchman against Bayern Munich in Champions League round of 16 first leg?

The Frenchman missed two penalties and an open goal in the space of 100 seconds before coming off with a hamstring issue in PSG's 3-1 Ligue-1 win over Montpellier on Thursday.

File photo of Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe; Credit: Twitter/ @KMbappe
By Sreejith C R | Feb 3, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us


Things aren’t getting any better for Paris Saint-Germain, ahead of their crucial Champions League round of 16 first leg match against Bayern Munich in two weeks time, as star-man Kylian Mbappe got injured in the 3-1 Ligue 1-win over Montpellier on Thursday. The Frenchman missed two penalties and an open goal in the space of 100 seconds before coming off with a hamstring issue. A club statement on Thursday confirmed that the 24-year-old will be out for approximately three weeks, meaning he will miss the game against the German giants. Meanwhile, central defender Sergio Ramos also picked up a knock and came off inside the opening 32 minutes. However, the Spaniard is expected to be back days before the mouth-watering clash, according to reports from L’Equipe and Le Parisien. 

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Hugo Ekitike is the likely replacement

20-year-old Hugo Ekitike came in to replace Mbappe inside the opening 21 minutes. The Frenchman, who has already recorded three goals and as many assists in 14 Ligue 1 games this season, is likely to partner Lionel Messi up front for the next couple of games. The U-20 French player is in pretty good form, having scored four goals in his last eight matches across all competitions. Although he is not as quick as Mbappe, the Stade de Reims loanee stands 1.89m tall, giving PSG a different dimension while going forward. With both Mbappe and Neymar occupying the treatment room, the youngster is expected to get some decent game-time in the next couple of weeks. Ekitike’s biggest strength is his movement, the closer he is to the opposition penalty box, the better. Meanwhile not being able to keep up his intensity for 90 minutes on a consistent basis is a drawback for the youngster.  

Christopher Galtier’s game plan without Mbappe

Head coach Christopher Galtier is likely to opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation, with a lot of interchanging of positions likely to take place during the match. Messi will operate behind Ekitike, slightly on the right side of the channel, often dropping behind into pockets of space, allowing the likes of Fabian Ruiz and Vitinha to make attacking runs into the box. Ekitike could operate on the left channel, often cutting inside onto his right foot and taking defenders with him, creating space for Ruiz and Nuno Mendez, and allowing Messi to pick their runs with precise diagonal inswinging balls. Meanwhile, if Neymar recovers from his ankle injury, then Galtier might switch to a 4-3-3 formation, with Neymar on the left, Ekitike starting down the centre, and Messi on the right. That could be a more effective attacking lineup, allowing Ekitike to operate more often or not in-and-around the box and linking up with fellow attackers. Meanwhile, the 20-year-old could also make use of his tall stature if the full-backs Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes can deliver quality crosses into the box.



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