Neymar could be saved for Liverpool, says Tuchel

By Sports Desk September 13, 2018

Neymar could be left out of Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 match against Saint-Etienne on Friday in order to keep him fresh for a Champions League clash with Liverpool, Thomas Tuchel has said. 

The Brazil star and captain started friendlies against United States and El Salvador in the international break, scoring in both matches.

Neymar has now scored in six consecutive appearances for club and country but Tuchel hinted the 26-year-old could miss the Saint-Etienne game to preserve energy for Tuesday's trip to Anfield.

"The only problem is: what's the risk for him tomorrow [Friday] night? Can he play a whole match or less and still not look at the game in Liverpool?" Tuchel told a news conference.

"There was the match played Wednesday night, the flight, the jet lag, how he gets back... It's the same for [Neymar's Brazil team-mate] Marquinhos.

"I really like him dribbling. In my opinion, it's our challenge to create opportunities when Neymar can play with his strength, his dribbling skills.

"It is a collective effort, of course, and he adapts very well and he is always concerned by the team and not focused on his game."

While PSG could be without Neymar on Friday, Tuchel has been boosted by the return to fitness of Italy international Marco Verratti.

"It's really important that a player with qualities like Marco has come back," Tuchel said. "It's also important that he's healthy. He has to work to stay healthy.

"He has extraordinary qualities. He can make the difference in midfield, he is a very brave player, he always wants to have the ball. It's important for us."

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    Van Dijk's late volley salvaged a dramatic 2-2 draw for the Dutch in Gelsenkirchen, propelling them into the Nations League Finals in Portugal next summer and completing a miserable campaign for Joachim Low's hosts, whose relegation to League B had already been confirmed.

    The final whistle prompted enthusiastic celebrations for the Netherlands players but Van Dijk instead sought out referee Ovidiu Hategan - the Romanian official who was in tears following the recent passing of his mother.

    Van Dijk told Voetbal International: "The man broke down with tears in his eyes because he had just lost his mother.

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    "We had a lot of the ball but were not able to put any pressure on them," the Liverpool centre-half added.

    "Germany are, of course, a good team, they played well between the lines and with strikers that had a lot of movement.

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  • Ceferin dismisses "super league" plans as fiction Ceferin dismisses "super league" plans as fiction

    UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin insists a European "super league" will never come to fruition amid reports of a proposed breakaway.

    A recent Football Leaks document, reported in Der Spiegel, claimed a host of European football's top clubs were in advanced negotiations to create a new league.

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    "We have some ideas. All I can say is that any super league is out of the question. It will not happen. It is in a way a fiction now or a dream," he said.

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  • Gomez praises 'top player' Van Dijk, Stones Gomez praises 'top player' Van Dijk, Stones

    Joe Gomez has credited mentors at both club and international level for his rapid development.

    Aside from the throw-in that led to England's equaliser, the 21-year-old put in a measured performance in their 2-1 win over Croatia on Sunday in the Nations League.

    At club level, meanwhile, Gomez and Virgil van Dijk have been the basis on which Liverpool have built their Premier League-best defence.

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    "And likewise, I don't want to just be seen as that, but we're buzzing and it's nice to be involved."

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