There is growing optimism that Lionel Messi will be available for Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League clash with Manchester City this week.

City head to the Parc des Princes in an early test of their European ambitions this season.

PSG will be desperate for a victory, having only managed a draw with Club Brugge in their opener, while Pep Guardiola’s side thumped RB Leipzig 6-3 in a thrilling encounter.

It’s arguably the marquee tie of the group stages as the beaten finalists from the last two seasons come head-to-head.

Messi is a doubt for the Ligue 1 side having suffered a knee injury during the win over Lyon earlier this month.

Lionel Messi looks set to win his race to be fit for PSG's clash with Man City

The Argentine clashed with Jerome Boateng and after struggling for several minutes, he was withdrawn by manager Mauricio Pochettino.

He missed the wins over Metz and Montpellier as PSG continued their 100 per cent start to the domestic season.

But Pochettino has suggested that the 34-year-old is in contention for the game with City, with Monday’s session set to prove pivotal.

“He started running again. We hope that the evolution will be as we hope,” Pochettino said in his press conference on Friday. “Is there any chance of seeing him play against Manchester City? Yes, we hope.

“We have to be careful, we'll see how it evolves in the coming days.”

Marco Verratti is also in line to return having missed their last five games with a knee injury.

Manchester City kicked off a daunting week of fixtures with a hugely impressive win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

A deflected Gabriel Jesus strike was the difference between the two Premier League title challengers in a statement victory for Guardiola’s men.

Manchester City celebrate the winning goal against Chelsea

On the win, the City boss said: “The team can always think and play good or bad but it doesn’t matter where we play we will try to do it and the lads were fantastic in this stadium against these opponents and what we have done have made me so proud.

“Sometimes you cannot do it if the opponent is better, we were encouraged to play high and they could not make the build-up like they are masters, they are so good, and that’s why I’m pleased for the way we played.”

It doesn’t get much easier for the champions though, after the trip to Paris, City then face Liverpool on Sunday at Anfield.

Read More Read More