Powered by

Messi returns for PSG; Manchester City play in League Cup

A look at what's happening in European football on Wednesday

messi neymar gana (File) PSG's Lionel Messi, centre, with Neymar and Idrissa Gana Gueye | AP

FRANCE

Lionel Messi is expected to play his first game for Paris Saint-Germain since his World Cup victory with Argentina. Messi has been training with his teammates, and coach Christophe Galtier expressed hope the forward will be ready to take on last-place Angers in a French league match.

Kylian Mbappe will be missing as he went on holiday. Lagging four points behind leader PSG, second-place Lens travel to struggling Strasbourg. Ukraine's Ruslan Malinovskyi could make his debut for third-place Marseille when the nine-time champions play at Troyes.

The midfielder has joined on loan from Atalanta until the end of the season with an option to make the move permanent.

ENGLAND

The League Cup quarterfinals continue with two all-Premier League matchups: Southampton vs. Manchester City and Nottingham Forest vs. Wolverhampton. City are looking to win the competition for the seventh time in 10 seasons and are coming off back-to-back wins over Chelsea in the league and FA Cup.

Southampton are struggling under recently hired manager Nathan Jones but have caused Pep Guardiola's squad problems in recent years, with both of the teams' league meetings last season ending in draws.

City have already beaten Southampton 4-0 this season, however, and should recall Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland, who were rested in the 4-0 FA Cup win over Chelsea on Sunday. The League Cup is proving to be a positive distraction for Forest and Wolves from their battle against relegation in the Premier League.

SPAIN

Real Madrid begin the Spanish Super Cup title defence in Saudi Arabia in a semifinal against Valencia. Both teams are looking to rebound from losses in the Spanish league.

Madrid will be without defender David Alaba and midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni because of injuries, but coach Carlo Ancelotti will have right back Dani Carvajal available after he was sidelined with a muscle problem. Gennaro Gattuso's Valencia have won only one of their last eight league matches ahead of the Super Cup.

Veteran Edinson Cavani is expected to play in attack for Valencia. Barcelona and Real Betis will play in the other semifinal on Thursday.

ITALY

Defending Serie A champion AC Milan open their Italian Cup campaign by hosting Torino at the San Siro. The winner will meet either Sampdoria or Fiorentina, who play on Thursday.

Milan are third in Serie A and are coming off a disappointing 2-2 draw at home with Roma, when they squandered a two-goal advantage. Torino beat Cittadella 4-0 in the previous round.

đź“Ł The Week is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TheWeekmagazine) and stay updated with the latest headlines