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PSG hoping for vintage Neymar against Bordeaux

Publish on 26/09/2019 at 21h00

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Paris Saint-Germain are hoping Neymar Jr. can lead them back to winning ways when they travel to Girondins de Bordeaux on Saturday evening.

 Girondins de Bordeaux - Paris Saint-Germain 

 

Neymar's return to fitness and form in recent weeks has been particularly timely given the raft of attacking injuries the capital club have had to endure.

Kylian Mbappé and Edinson Cavani picked up thigh and hip injuries respectively in last month's 4-0 win over Toulouse FC, while the man signed to assuage their absences - Mauro Icardi - received a knock in PSG's 3-0 win over Real Madrid in the UEFA Champion League last Wednesday.

Neymar on form

That impressive win over the record European champions was bookended with two 1-0 victories in Ligue 1 Conforama over RC Strasbourg Alsace and Olympique Lyonnais, both sealed thanks to late interventions from Neymar.

Watch: Highlights of PSG'S shock 2-0 loss to Reims!

Paris's winning run came to a halt on Wednesday, though, with Hassane Kamara and Boulaye Dia firing Stade de Reims to a shock 2-0 win at the Parc des Princes - a game which coach Thomas Tuchel said his side "deserved to lose". Neymar's returning focus should help PSG bounce back, though.

"Confidence is one of the best characteristics you should have," he explained in British newspaper, the Daily Mirror. "If you lose that you lose your style, your skills. Being confident you can risk doing different things and that's very important on the pitch. [Football]'s my passion so I do it with the greatest pleasure."

Mbappé return?

Who Neymar will have for company in the final third at the Stade Matmut Atlantique remains to be seen. Full fitness still eludes Mbappé and Cavani, although the former could start; Julian Draxler remains sidelined with a foot injury, and Tuchel will have an eye on rotation with a trip to Galatasary in the Champions League as soon as Tuesday.

Bordeaux might not prove the easiest place to bounce back. Les Girondins could actually go top with a win, although they would have to beat PSG by four clear goals - something they haven't managed since January 2009 on the way to winning that season's Ligue 1 Conforama title.

Watch: Highlights of Bordeaux's 3-1 win at Amiens

The win country club have turned a corner under coach Paulo Sousa, with Wednesday's 3-1 win at Amiens SC their sixth consecutive game without defeat. The Portuguese coach isn't about to rest on his laurels, though.

'Fans helped us win'

"We started badly by conceding a goal but the lads showed a good mentality," he said. "We stayed focused, pressed hard, didn't give up the ball and we managed to score goals. I want to thank our fans, who came from far away. They helped us win this game, which wasn't easy."

Senegal left-back Youssouf Sabaly is Bordeaux's only confirmed absentee due to a knee injury. Nineteen-year-old Yacine Adli is pushing for further inclusion, meanwhile, against the team whose youth academy he graduated from last year, having scored a brace in the win over Amiens.

 

Possible teams

Bordeaux: Costil; Mexer, Koscielny, Pablo; Hwang, Otavio, Tchouaméni, Kalu; Adli, De Préville; Briand

PSG: Navas; Meunier, Silva, Kimpembe, Bernat; Herrera, Gueye, Verrati; Sarabia, Mbappé, Neymar