Neymar in doubt for PSG's Champions League trip to Dortmund – Tuchel

By Sports Desk February 12, 2020

Neymar is in doubt for Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League last-16 first leg at Borussia Dortmund, according to head coach Thomas Tuchel.

PSG were without star forward Neymar for Wednesday's 6-1 rout of Dijon in the Coupe de France quarter-finals due to a rib injury.

Neymar stayed in Paris as the Brazilian continues to recover from the injury, which he suffered against Montpellier on February 1 and led to him missing Ligue 1 wins over Nantes and Lyon.

After travelling to Amiens in Ligue 1 on Saturday, PSG will then make the trip Dortmund for the opening leg of their Champions League tie against the Bundesliga outfit on Tuesday.

Asked about Neymar post-game, Tuchel told reporters: "I can't say that he will be 100 per cent to play against Borussia Dortmund.

"We will discuss and decide on Friday, the latest possible time to do so. We can't risk his fitness."

Tuchel added: "We aren't going to take risks against Amiens, it's clear. We will have a strong team, but if we have little doubts, we won't take risks."

PSG sailed into the Coupe de France semi-finals thanks to the midweek demolition at Dijon.

An early own goal from Wesley Lautoa opened the scoring for PSG, though the visitors were pegged back by Mounir Chouiar 12 minutes later.

However, a Pablo Sarabia brace and goals from Kylian Mbappe and Thiago Silva, as well as a Senou Coulibaly own goal secured PSG's passage.

"Dijon started very aggressively, took a lot of risks and put in a lot of effort. We were also very focused, and battled for second balls," Tuchel said.

"We were very careful but were able to step up our tempo. We were patient and played quickly, simply and created space in the second half. We controlled the game and scored two more goals quickly."

Related items

  • Lampard refuses to blame inexperience for Chelsea's struggles Lampard refuses to blame inexperience for Chelsea's struggles

    Frank Lampard insists inexperience is not the main reason for a downturn in form which has seen Chelsea's lead for the fourth Champions League qualification spot reduced to a single point.

    Chelsea host Tottenham – and their former boss Jose Mourinho – on Saturday at Stamford Bridge, heading into the encounter on the back of one win in their past six league matches.

    Should Spurs win, they will move above Chelsea into fourth, while Sheffield United and Manchester United are also within touching distance.

    However, Lampard does not believe Chelsea's struggles are down to a lack of experience, adding that young players have to come through the tough patches to prove their top-flight credentials.

    "I don't think it's inexperience," Lampard told a news conference. "You can look at the youth in the squad and perhaps that's an easy conclusion.

    "Perhaps that's part of it but it's not easy to pinpoint. The clinical nature of not scoring, the sloppy nature of having a lapse which gives a team with one or two shots a goal, which has happened a couple of times at home. Is it experience, quality? There's a lot of things to it.

    "This period is what all Premier League clubs suffer. As young players you have to be even more aware that it can affect their confidence, because they're new to the team and the eyes of the world are on them.

    "It's a big deal and a test for the younger players and I think with the physical nature of the league over the course of the season then there were always going to be little dips.

    "The players will certainly come out of it better. It's how they train, how they play. I believe in all of them and think they're all going to be top players for this club, but they have to keep pushing and get out of moments like this."

    Should Manchester City's two-year ban from the Champions League be upheld, fifth place would be enough to secure qualification for Europe's elite competition next season.

    However, Lampard was not concerned by the suggestion a failure to qualify for the Champions League would result in Chelsea losing their best players, such as N'Golo Kante, who will miss Saturday's match through injury.

    "We obviously want to keep our best players. Kante is an incredible player, everyone knows that," Lampard added.

    "At the end of the day, no matter what the quality of the player, you want players who want to be here at Chelsea and push to close the gap upwards.

    "It's a question for the end of the season. The player you mention [Kante] – we want to be adding to players like that."

  • Barcelona and Real Madrid make all clubs 'tremble' – Guardiola addresses Sterling speculation Barcelona and Real Madrid make all clubs 'tremble' – Guardiola addresses Sterling speculation

    Pep Guardiola says any club would "tremble" if Real Madrid or Barcelona enquired about one of their star players, amid speculation linking Raheem Sterling with Los Blancos.

    In an interview with Spanish publication AS on Friday, City forward Sterling spoke of his admiration for Madrid following rumours of a potential move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

    The England international was also pictured holding up the shirts of both City and Madrid, who meet in the Champions League last 16 next week.

    In a news conference ahead of City's Premier League clash with third-placed Leicester City, Guardiola insisted he has no doubt over Sterling's commitment.

    However, he conceded all clubs have to worry should Madrid or their LaLiga rivals Barcelona come calling.

    "All the clubs have to know that when Real Madrid or Barcelona knock on the door, the other clubs must tremble, they will be a little bit in trouble," Guardiola told reporters.

    "Barcelona and Madrid are maybe the strongest and most powerful teams in terms of history and how good they are. That is normal and I understand completely.

    "But on the same point, you just see the commitment from Raheem, every single day when he arrives. He's never injured.

    "His commitment in every game, offensively and defensively, so he's one of the best players in the world and it's normal that big clubs see his desire for the team.

    "I don't know if Madrid or Barcelona called his agent, [but] I don't have any doubts about the commitment Raheem and the other ones have had from the first day to the last day."

    Guardiola himself has been linked with leaving City after the club was handed a two-year ban from the Champions League by UEFA for a breach of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

    With City in the process of lodging an appeal after denying UEFA's claims, Guardiola swiftly moved to dismiss reports of a potential exit and reiterated his commitment to City once more on Friday.

    "My happiness. I'm looking for my happiness, that's the only thing I'm looking for," Guardiola said when asked if he would consider staying beyond the expiration of his current deal, which runs out at the end of next season.

    "I'm working with exceptional players especially and I have the feeling that they follow us 100 per cent, knowing how it's not easy working with us and with me, but I'm happy.

    "That is the only reason why, when I move on always it's because I am thinking I can be happier than the place that I was before. That is the only reason.

    "We have got incredible owners and a good relationship, so I think it will not be a problem to understand both sides if we decide to stay three more years or stay in the time we are together."

  • Derby County 1-1 Fulham: Rooney goal on landmark appearance not enough for Rams Derby County 1-1 Fulham: Rooney goal on landmark appearance not enough for Rams

    Wayne Rooney marked his 500th game in English league football with a goal but it was not enough for Derby County as they drew 1-1 with Fulham.

    Rooney made it 10 goals from his last 13 appearances against Fulham in all competitions when he chipped home from the penalty spot 10 minutes into the second half in Friday's Championship encounter.

    However, Fulham fought back to restore parity – Aleksandar Mitrovic sending a brilliant finish into the bottom-left corner in the 71st minute.

    Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Ivan Cavaleiro went close to completing the turnaround for Fulham, though the visitors had Marek Rodak to thank when he pulled off a string of stunning saves late on.

    Ultimately, though, neither side could snatch a winner and the draw leaves Derby in 12th, while Fulham missed the chance to move level on points with second-placed Leeds United.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.