Death, taxes, and Paris Saint-Germain missing a key player for a crucial UEFA Champions League match. Some things never change.
On February 11, just five days before PSG travel to the Camp Nou to take on FC Barcelona in the Round of 16 of the Champions League, the club announced that Neymar Jr. “suffered a lesion to the left adductor” and after exams and scans, the Brazilian is expected to be out for approximately four weeks.
Essentially, Neymar injured his hip against Ligue 2’s Stade Malherbe Caen in the Coupe de France on Wednesday and will now miss the most important two matches of the season.
— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) February 11, 2021
First of all, why was Neymar playing in this game? Mauricio Pochettino shouldn’t need a player of his quality to defeat Caen. Even if Pochettino rotated his squad completely and played the kids, I think every PSG fan out there would trade the Coupe de France for a healthy Neymar against Barcelona.
I would have preferred Neymar play against OGC Nice this Saturday in Ligue 1 competition. At least then, if Neymar was injured, you could say that PSG were trying to keep pace with Lille OSC at the top of the table. Losing Neymar to Caen just seems like such a waste.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Losing Neymar stings but there is still plenty of quality in this squad to defeat the third-place team in La Liga. Whether or not PSG advances past their European rivals will depend on whether or not Kylian Mbappé shows up and what tactics Pochettino deploys.
We might get a sense of what Pochettino is planning to do against Barcelona when PSG lines up against Nice this Saturday. The most important factor will be no more injuries to key players and obviously, three points.
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