Neymar-less PSG face manager-less Lille

By AFP
Published: December 8, 2017
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BARCA BOSSES TO BLAME: Neymar has spoken against Barcelona management for the first time since leaving the Catalans in a world record deal. PHOTO: AFP

BARCA BOSSES TO BLAME: Neymar has spoken against Barcelona management for the first time since leaving the Catalans in a world record deal. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain will be without Neymar as they look to end their worst week of the season with a win at home to managerless strugglers Lille in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

The world’s most expensive player is suspended for the game at the Parc des Princes, where anything other than a victory is unthinkable for the capital club.

They had been unbeaten this season before losing 2-1 at Strasbourg last weekend, and they followed that with a 3-1 reverse away to Bayern Munich.

Those results have not had a serious impact on PSG, who are currently nine points clear of Lyon, Monaco and Marseille at the Ligue 1 summit and still won their Champions League group ahead of Bayern.

But it is the first time in three years that PSG have lost back-to-back games and the nature of the performance against Bayern in particular was not to the liking of Qatari president Nasser Al Khelaifi.

“We didn’t perform. I am very disappointed about the result, the quality of our play, especially in the first half,” Al Khelaifi said after Tuesday’s game. “I am optimistic for the future, but we didn’t play as well as we could have done in this match. It is a lesson for everybody.”

Sports daily L’Equipe even suggested on Thursday that PSG could consider sacking coach Unai Emery in the coming weeks, with Massimiliano Allegri, Antonio Conte and Diego Simeone being mentioned as potential successors.

PSG are also without the injured Thiago Motta, and Thiago Silva is likely to miss out as well after coming off hurt against Bayern. He has injuries to his left knee and calf.

Lille are hovering just above the relegation zone but have recorded back-to-back wins since suspending Marcelo Bielsa and replacing the enigmatic Argentine with a team of four interim coaches.

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