Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain

Neymar back for PSG in Classique

Publish on 13/09/2020 at 01:31 - A. SCOTT


Neymar Jr. is one of several key players who will return for Paris Saint-Germain in Sunday’s Classique at home to Olympique de Marseille, but Kylian Mbappé is still out. The visitors are missing a key player of their own in Morgan Sanson.

Paris Saint-Germain - Olympique de Marseille (Sunday at 2100 CET - 1900 GMT)

Neymar trained with the Paris squad on Saturday having been given the green light to do so in the wake of his positive test for Covid-19 and ensuing period in quarantine. Assuming there are no ill effects to training after eight days of enforced rest at home, the world’s most expensive player is in line to start for the champions at the Parc des Princes.

Argentine duo Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes, and goalkeeper Keylor Navas, are also hoping to return after missing Thursday’s shock 1-0 defeat away to newly-promoted RC Lens which marked the start of PSG’s title defence.

In contrast, Mbappé, Marquinhos and Mauro Icardi are all still missing following their positive coronavirus tests, while Julian Draxler is set to again miss out with the same injury that prevented him from featuring in Lens.

"Icardi, Marquinhos and Mbappé are absentees. All the others are in the squad,” said coach Thomas Tuchel on Saturday, although he insisted that no decision would be made on who plays in the game until after a final training session on Sunday morning.

Watch: Weakened PSG stunned by Lens

Debut for Florenzi?

Meanwhile, Italian international right-back Alessandro Florenzi could feature for the first time in a PSG shirt after arriving on loan from Roma.

“He's available for tomorrow so, if he's ready, he could play,” Tuchel remarked at his eve-of-game press conference. "I'm happy to have him with us. I've followed him a lot. He played for the same club for a long time, which is something I like. He has been one of Roma's best players, and one of the best in Serie A. I like his attacking style of play, he's very active on the pitch. We want to see the best possible Florenzi in Paris.”

Villas-Boas: 'This is maybe our chance'

Marseille arrive in the capital looking to build on their 3-2 win at Stade Brestois 29 in their opening game of the campaign. However, the absence of Sanson is a blow. The midfielder is sidelined with a muscle strain, and summer signing Pape Gueye is one of those in contention to replace him in the starting line-up. Right-back Bouna Sarr is also missing for the visitors as he recovers from testing positive for Covid-19.

Watch: Thauvin stars for OM against Brest

“We want to take advantage of their absences and the lack of training their other players who tested positive for coronavirus have had,” admitted OM coach André Villas-Boas. “This is maybe our chance, the right moment for us to give some joy to our supporters.”

Marseille have not beaten PSG in the league since November 2011.

Probable teams

PSG: Rico; Florenzi, Kehrer, Kimpembe (c), Bernat; Herrera, Gueye, Verratti; Sarabia, Neymar, Ruiz-Atil

Marseille: Mandanda (c); Sakai, Gonzalez, Caleta-Car, Amavi; Rongier, Kamara, Strootman; Thauvin, Benedetto, Payet