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Sports

Neymar back for PSG in time for decisive week

  • However, they may not have playmaker Marco Verratti, at least against Lille, after he returned from international duty with Italy carrying a knock.
Published April 2, 2021

PARIS: Neymar and Paris Saint-Germain are heading into a potentially decisive week in their season, with Mauricio Pochettino's side facing Ligue 1 title rivals Lille on Saturday before a trip to Germany for a rematch of last season's Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

The quarter-final first leg away to a Bayern side missing Robert Lewandowski is already dominating headlines in France, as PSG seek revenge for their 1-0 defeat in the final in Lisbon last August.

The absence of Lewandowski could even swing the tie PSG's way, especially as the French giants have Neymar fit again after a recent spell on the sidelines.

He has played just 20 minutes since early February but is fresh after the postponement of South American World Cup qualifying fixtures meant he was not needed by Brazil last week.

However, before heading to the Allianz Arena, PSG have domestic matters to deal with as the top four in Ligue 1 remain separated by just four points.

PSG lead Lille in second only on goal difference, with Lyon three points back in third and Monaco another point behind in fourth.

Monaco can close the gap when they host Metz early on Saturday, while Lyon go to Lens later.

"All the teams are stronger this season which has made the league harder to win and created more suspense," Parisian midfielder Leandro Paredes suggested to PSG TV.

Pochettino's men nevertheless have the momentum, having won 4-2 in Lyon last time out after beating Lille 3-0 in a French Cup tie a few days previously.

However, they may not have playmaker Marco Verratti, at least against Lille, after he returned from international duty with Italy carrying a knock.

Lille had been top before a shock defeat by struggling Nimes in their last outing which left them with just two wins in their last six league games.

It could be difficult for them to recover in the event of another defeat, at a time when reports are linking coach Christophe Galtier with a move to rivals Lyon in the summer.

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