Soccer

Neymar to miss PSG’s Champions League clash vs. RB Leipzig with groin injury, Lionel Messi available

Paris Saint-Germain will be without Neymar for at least Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League clash with RB Leipzig in Group A after the Brazilian superstar returned from international duty with a groin issue.

Neymar, 29, has trained since returning to the French capital but pain forced him to cut short training ahead of the Germans’ visit to Parc des Princes and he will now miss the clash along with Leandro Paredes and Sergio Ramos.

“Neymar Jr had some pain in his groin since returning from international duty,” read a brief PSG medical update. “He will undergo more treatment over the next few days before returning to full training.”

Parisien head coach Mauricio Pochettino said that there was no issue with the French giants’ medical staff even though they cleared him for training, and he has now been ruled out against Jesse Marsch’s Leipzig.

“The player’s health remains the priority,” said the Argentine at Monday’s pre-match press conference. “Neymar has a little issue. We hope that it will only last a few days. If the medical staff tell me that a player can play for sure, then he plays.

“Our decisions as the technical staff follow 100% what we are told by the medical sector. They were fine with Neymar training. He felt awkward towards the end of the session and that stopped him participating. The medical team checked him out and agreed that he should not play.”

Mauro Icardi missed PSG training on Sunday and Monday with the club’s permission due to a family situation which has been revealed as a strained relationship with partner and agent Wanda over the past few days. However, he will be in the squad for the game.

“On Mauro and his personal problems, he is in the squad for Leipzig,” confirmed Pochettino. “We will see what the situation is later and whether or not he can play.”

Lionel Messi will be available once again for PSG after missing the 2-1 win over Angers SCO in Ligue 1 last Friday due to the last South American World Cup qualifiers and Pochettino is delighted to have his compatriot available to him once more.

“Leo shines on his own, as he has with Barca, Argentina and now PSG,” he said. “He is a very intelligent player who can adapt at the highest levels. We are very happy that he is with us, and he is very happy in Paris. I hope that things will progress naturally. There are no doubts that he will be able to perform the way he wants to.”

Meanwhile, Marsch is aware that his Leipzig side badly need points from their PSG doubleheader as they find themselves bottom of Group A after losing to both Manchester City and Club Brugge in their two opening games.

“The situation in our group is simple: we need points,” stated the American boss. “PSG are a great side with perhaps the best attack in the world. PSG’s attack might still be a work in progress, but we still need to be fully switched on. We need a group effort to defend aggressively and every individual needs to be fearless in one-on-ones. We also need Pete (Gulacsi) in top form.”

PSG beat City last time out with Messi on target for the first time to add to their point away at Brugge which places them top coming into this week’s Group A games which you can watch exclusively on Paramount+.

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