Neymar will MISS Paris Saint-Germain’s crucial Champions League showdown with Bayern Munich through injury as Christophe Galtier’s side look to fight back from 1-0 down in last-16 second leg
- The Brazilian went over on his ankle late last month and faces more time out
- Neymar has an unfortunate history of being injured at crucial junctures for PSG
- Christophe Galtier confirmed his side would travel to Bavaria without Neymar
Paris Saint-Germain have been dealt a major blow ahead of their Champions League last-16 tie with Bayern Munich with confirmation that Neymar remains sidelined.
The Brazilian was stretched off in last month’s victory over Lille at the Parc des Princes, though it had been hoped he might make a swift return for next week’s forthcoming second leg.
However, manager Galtier confirmed on Friday, ahead of PSG’s hosting of Nantes, that Neymar will miss the club’s next two fixtures.
‘He will be out,’ said the Frenchman said. ‘I think that he will miss out against Bayern. His absence will be detrimental to us.’
‘Our block is much more compact, denser,’ he added. ‘With the absence of Neymar, instead of having two midfielders, we will be with three midfielders and two attackers.
Neymar was stretchered off in last month’s victory over Lille at the Parc des Princes
The Brazilian has been blighted with yet another ankle injury at a crucial juncture in the season
‘To tell you that Neymar’s absence is trivial… no. It’s a detrimental absence for us.’
The news comes as an enormous blow to under-pressure Galtier, whose side will have to overcome a 1-0 deficit at the Allianz Arena if they wish to advance.
Kingsley Coman’s goal proved the difference in the first leg as Bayern Munich dominated PSG for much of the night.
With the season entering its crucial phase, PSG have once again been beset by near-perennial rumours of dressing room in-fighting and reports that players are unhappy.
With the club some eight points clear in the league after a comprehensive victory over Marseille last weekend and out of the Coupe de France, their season rests on Wednesday night’s clash.
However, Galtier urged the team to focus on Saturday’s clash and not look ahead to Bayern Munich.
‘The most important game is the one that’s coming. Our squad is weakened by suspensions and injuries, we have to make our way in the league,’ he said.
‘I hope the players don’t have the game against Bayern on Wednesday in a corner of their heads. It’s important to have a third consecutive victory in the league.’
Paris Saint-Germain will travel to Munich shorn of the Brazilian – it is the sixth Champions League knockout tie he has missed
Their recent history, since the Qatari takeover more than 10 years ago, has been bookmarked by ignominious exits from the Champions League.
Apart from 2020, when they reached the final, losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich, they have struggled to crack the competition. Last year’s exit ranks among the worst in recent years, with the side leading Real Madrid by two goals at half-time in the second leg, and somehow conspiring to go out.
Neymar’s fitness record for the latter stages of European competition has been somewhat inconsistent. Blighted by ankle trouble since he arrived at PSG, Neymar has missed five crucial knockout ties, with Wednesday’s absence set to make it six.
Both sides go into the tie relatively flawed, with neither playing the free flowing, expansive football that makes them among the best sides on the continent.