by Tim Stannard
Mbappe set to start today along with new signing Moise Kean as PSG battle injuries, suspensions and COVID.
Normally, when a soccer coach claims they are down to bare bones and have just a handful of fit players rattling around the locker room, eyebrows should be raised in skepticism.
That's especially the case with PSG, the second most expensively raised squad in the global game according to a report this week from the CIES Football Observatory which ranks the French club at number two with a team costing over a billion dollars in transfer fees.
However, it's 2020. Anything is possible. And that's why when Thomas Tuchel claimed player paucity on Thursday, the PSG head honcho had a fair point. Speaking ahead of today's league clash at Nimes, the German manager said that "maybe we will only have 11, 12 or 13 players."
So what happened to the rest of his team?
Well. Angel di Maria and Layvin Kurzawa are both suspended - the Argentinean for spitting in a time of COVID.
Marquinhos, Marco Verratti, Julian Draxler, Thilo Kehrer, Juan Bernat and Mauro Icardi are all injured. Ander Herrera is recovering from contracting COVID-19 while new signing Danilo will need further testing having been in contact with someone else with COVID-19 - Cristiano Ronaldo.
Neymar and Kylian Mbappe have both been very busy on international duty. And while Tuchel claimed he wanted to hold both back due to a Champions League clash next week with Manchester United, only one will be in action along with another new signing, Moise Kean.
The other drama-rama around a PSG team currently fourth in the standings but on a four-match winning streak was the cross words between Tuchel and sporting director, Leonardo, over the club's spending in the transfer market.
With two weeks of downtime just gone, there was surely time for both to make up their differences over a bottle and wine and forge ahead.
Apparently not, revealed Tuchel - "we have not had any contact since."
Nimes vs. PSG at 3PM ET forms a formidable French double-header on beIN SPORTS today with league-leading, Champions League superstars, Rennes, relishing a visit to Dijon to stay at the top of the standings at 1PM ET.
Dest on brink of starting debut for Barcelona
Remember, only bad things can happen outside. beIN with beIN.
Ronald Koeman is set to be verbally probed on the comments from Antoine Griezmann that the reason he scores for France and not Barcelona is that he has coach who knows what position to play the French forward.
However, that's a sideshow to the big news of the Getafe clash at 3PM ET from the perspective of this side of the pond, and that's the expected starting debut for Sergino Dest.
Since the departures of James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale, 97% of all of last season's questions to Coach Zizou at Real Madrid have been removed. Friday's press conference might instead see the French coach quizzed on what he's streaming these days.
The Sports Burst live show will look ahead to a huge weekend in France and Spain at 12PM ET. Head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page or beIN XTRA channel to join in.
Valencia president accused of destroying club and deceiving coach
Through the subtle, genteel medium of social media, the midfielder blasted his club president, Anil Murthy, roaring that he had "destroyed an ambitious project" and "deceived the coach and himself."
Kondogbia's ire was over a host of summer sales - mainly to Villarreal, ironically enough - with no-one coming in and a failed move to Atletico Madrid for himself.
Villarreal vs. Valencia is live on beIN SPORTS on Sunday at 10AM ET.