Thursday, January 19, 2017

Emery has no problem with dropped Ben Arfa, Verratti out of Dijon clash

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 19 Sep 2016

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Unai Emery insists there is no issue between himself and Hatem Ben Arfa despite leaving the midfielder out of the Paris Saint-Germain squad for Tuesday’s Ligue 1 match against Dijon.

Ben Arfa was omitted from PSG’s 18-man squad for last week’s Champions League match against Arsenal, Emery calling on him to “work hard and have the right mentality”.

The former Nice playmaker sat out Friday’s 6-0 thrashing of Caen and will not feature at the Parc des Princes this week either, but the PSG boss denied he has any problem with the player.

“He is not in the group. It is simply a sporting decision. I take the best players available,” Emery said at a media conference on Monday. 

“There are no other issues. He is a player like any other. The players in the group are better prepared for tomorrow.”

Serge Aurier (ankle) and Layvin Kurzawa (hamstring) have returned to training, but will not take part on Tuesday, while Marco Verratti, who was an unused substitute against Caen due to a thigh concern, is also set to be rested.

“Serge is back in training but not everything has gone to plan,” added Emery.

“Layvin Kurzawa trained well, but the doctors preferred that he was left out of the group for tomorrow.

“Verratti is with us in training this afternoon, but he will not take part in the game.”

PSG sit third in Ligue 1, three points adrift of leaders Monaco and one back from second-placed Nice.

Emery acknowledged the clash against Dijon cannot be taken lightly and wants his team to put in an energetic display.

He said: “For us it is an important game. Monaco and Nice are ahead of us. It’s important to play well at home, with great intensity.

“This is another test, another opportunity. Dijon love to play with the ball. We should be well organised and press well.”

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