Verratti missing as PSG open against Caen
Paris Saint-Germain will be without midfielder Marco Verratti as the Ligue 1 Conforama champions begin their title defence at home to SM Caen on Sunday.
Verratti underwent surgery late last season in a bid to ensure the Italy international would be fully fit for the new campaign.
However, PSG coach Thomas Tuchel confirmed on Saturday the former Pescara man will be missing from the opening game.
"He had an operation at the end of last season, and he had an up-and-down pre-season," said Tuchel, who replaced Unai Emery this summer. "He has trained very hard, but felt a twinge at times. We have to be careful. There's nothing worrying, but we have to take our time."
While Verratti will watch from the sidelines, one Italian could be on the pitch. Gianluigi Buffon joined his compatriot in the French capital this summer, and the iconic former Parma and Juventus goalkeeper has already had a significant impact on the squad.
"It's easy with him. He's very professional...he's a legend! He behaves like that in the dressing-room. He's very humble, very polite, very professional. He has a lot of influence on our team," explained the former Borussia Dortmund and Mainz boss, who added he has yet to decide whether Buffon, FIFA World Cup winner Alphonese Areola or Kevin Trapp will be this season's first-choice.
"They all have the talent to be number one. I'll take a decision on Sunday."