Neymar will be back in the Paris Saint-Germain squad for Saturday’s Ligue 1 game against Toulouse, but Unai Emery offered no clues as to his team selection for next week’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid.
The Brazilian superstar was rested for a 4-1 Coupe de France win over Sochaux on Tuesday as PSG set up a quarter-final against Ligue 1 title rivals Marseille.
But Neymar, who celebrated his 26th birthday at a star-studded bash in Paris on Sunday, will be back in the fold for the Toulouse match.
“Neymar has been training very well today,” Emery told a news conference on Friday. “He will come to the desire to train and play tomorrow.
“The most important thing is tomorrow’s game. Because this game gives a lot of information in anticipation of the next Champions League game.
“Tomorrow’s match and that against Real are very different but very important. You have to have a group prepared to win tomorrow.
“Toulouse are a very competitive team that has changed coaches. Tomorrow they will have the motivation to play against PSG and they will grow.”
15 – Angel Di Maria has been involved in more goals than any other PSG player in all comps in 2018 (15 – 9 goals, 6 assists) ahead of Neymar (12) & Mbappé (6). Blessed. pic.twitter.com/dzdCG57pLf
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) February 6, 2018
Emery gave no indication of his thoughts for his Madrid team selection, although Angel Di Maria made a strong case for inclusion against his old club with his first PSG hat-trick in the win at Sochaux.
Thiago Motta is available after recovering from injury, while January signing Lassana Diarra and Giovani Lo Celso are among the other options in the middle of the park, along with Adrien Rabiot and Marco Verratti.
“I’m not going to change a lot of things in the midfield tomorrow or Wednesday,” Emery said. “The arrival of Diarra is there to improve the team.
“Motta played 15 minutes on Tuesday and we’ll see how he feels. Diarra played a good time in Sochaux. And Lo Celso’s performance is very good as a sentry.
“I say that Lo Celso played very well and I am very happy. I have great confidence in this player. The team is better prepared than last season. We have to show everyone that our progression is good.
“Who’s going to play Wednesday? I can’t say it, there can be a lot of things happening by then. But I inevitably have an idea in my head.
“Di Maria’s performance is good news. He’s an important player and we’re trying to get the best out of him.”
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