News ID: 211132
Published: 0409 GMT March 05, 2018

Neymar-less PSG will play from heart to oust Real

Neymar-less PSG will play from heart to oust Real
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Paris St. Germain is hoping its Parc des Princes crowd will help the French giant overturn a 3-1 deficit in its Champions League last-16 return leg against Real Madrid as Unai Emery’s side tries to cope without the injured Neymar.

The talismanic Brazilian forward was ruled out of tonight’s clash after undergoing foot surgery, but PSG coach is confident the home fans will play a key role.

"You play a game with your head and your heart. Tomorrow the heart will be the most important thing," Emery told a news conference on Monday.

"And we will be playing with 12 players tomorrow because we will have the backing of the crowd."

PSG has lost its last five return legs in the Champions League, notably going out in the last 16 last season when Ligue 1 leader slumped to a 6-1 loss at Barcelona after beating the Spanish side 4-0 in Paris.

"Our team, even without Neymar, is able to beat the best Real Madrid team," said Emery.

"With Neymar, PSG is stronger, but we are still strong without him," full back Dani Alves said.

"There are two options: either we sit and cry, or we stand on our feet and fight."

If PSG is to knock out the defending champion, the Paris club will need to be more focused than during the first leg, when it conceded two goals in the last 10 minutes.

"In the first leg we played better, had the best opportunities. But this time we need to do that for 90 minutes, not just 80," Alves said.

 

Central boost

 

Real Madrid midfielders Luka Modric and Toni Kroos have both been included in the travelling squad for tonight's game in Paris.

Kroos has not played since suffering a knee issue during the first leg against PSG at the Bernabeu on February 14, with Modric picking up a hamstring problem soon afterward, ESPN FC reported.

Both players returned to training with their teammates on Sunday in Madrid, and on Monday were named in a 24-strong travelling party, in which coach Zinedine Zidane has included all of his senior squad players.

Left-back Marcelo returned from his hamstring injury with a 30 minute runout as a substitute in Saturday evening's 3-1 La Liga win at home to Getafe, and is now expected to start at the Parc des Princes.

 

   
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