Clubs, French Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain, Story


Kylian Mbappe was sent off and Neymar was cautioned as tensions boiled over in PSG’s 3-2 win over Rennes in the Coupe de la Ligue.
Neymar feels football can get boring sometimes as he defends the handshake prank he played on a Rennes player during the Coupe de la Ligue match.

PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain will be without Kylian Mbappe, Julian Draxler and Adrien Rabiot away at Lille in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

However, Unai Emery’s 18-man squad has been boosted by the return of Dani Alves from suspension and captain Thiago Silva from injury.

Mbappe is suspended at Stade Pierre Mauroy after he was shown a red card away at Rennes in Tuesday’s Coupe de la Ligue semifinal victory.

The France international could face further punishment when his case is heard by a Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) disciplinary committee next Thursday.

Draxler has been struggling with a back problem since last weekend’s home win over Montpellier in Le Championnat and the Germany international, who missed the midweek trip to Rennes, will be absent in Lille.

Rabiot was not expected to be missing but he failed to train at Camp des Loges on Friday and underwent treatment for a right hip issue instead and it is significant enough to have ruled the Frenchman out.

Kylian Mbappe saw red for the first time in his career at Rennes.
Kylian Mbappe will be suspended for PSG on Saturday.

In better news for Emery, Alves is back after the Brazil international served his ban and his compatriot Silva has also returned to fold after the skipper — like Draxler — picked up a knock against Montpellier.

Emery admitted prematch that there were doubts over Neymar’s fitness but the Brazilian superstar has been deemed fit enough to travel to northern France.

Javier Pastore, who was substituted at half time in Rennes and then saw a late Inter Milan move collapse hours before the January transfer window closed, has also been passed fit to at least make the trip.

Thiago Motta joins Mbappe, Draxler and Rabiot in missing out but at this point, his absence is taken for granted as he continues to struggle to be fit in time to feature against Real Madrid in the Champions League round-of-16 first-leg clash at Santiago Bernabeu in less than a fortnight.

Hatem Ben Arfa remains marginalised and has not been included in the squad, while third-choice goalkeeper Sebastien Cibois failed to make the cut.

Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.



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