PSG coach Unai Emery has announced his squad for the Champions League last 16 clash against Real Madrid at the Bernabéu and confirmed that Thiago Motta has not recovered from a problem in his left leg in time to feature in Madrid.
Motta was also out for the game against Toulouse last weekend, before which Emery noted: “He is a very important player for us but due to various injuries he has been out of the side for almost four months. I have spoken to him and it’s too soon [to play him] because of the intensity needed for a game like this. He is working to get back to fitness, there are many games coming up and we will need him.”
Lass Diarra in line for Bernabéu return
With the Italy international ruled out, it will probably fall to Lass Diarra to occupy the defensive midfield role in the stadium that was his home for two and a half seasons. PSG raised a few eyebrows in signing the France international from Al-Jazira in the winter window where the 32-year-old barely featured. However, he is the only specialist defensive midfielder Emery has available although Giovani Lo Celso or Adrien Rabiot could be asked to fill in.
Layvin Kurzawa and Edinson Cavani have been included after being rested against Toulouse, with the Uruguay international to start up front alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappé.
PSG squad for Real Madrid:
Areola, Trapp, Alves, Meunier, Silva, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Kurzawa, Berchiche, Verratti, Lo Celso, Rabiot, Draxler, Pastore, Diarra, Di María, Mbappé, Neymar, Cavani.