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Champions League

Man-Utd-PSG: Neymar and Cavani give Tuchel tactical headache

Tuchel y Cavani hablan antes de que el uruguayo tuviera que ser sustituido ante el Girondins

AFP

The PSG manager is working on a "Plan D" for the trip to play Solskjaer's in-form side after the Uruguayan picked up an injury on Saturday.

Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel faces the task of drumming up an emergency plan for the visit to Manchester United in the last 16 of the Champions League in the definite absence of Neymar and the possible unavailability of Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani.

The Brazil captain has been ruled out until at least April with a foot injury and Cavani failed to appear for the second half of PSG’s 1-0 victory over Girondins on Saturday. There has been no official statement on the forward’s injury but it is suspected to be a muscle problem and Cavani will undergo tests on Sunday to determine the extent of the issue.

Without Neymar and possibly Cavani and [Marco] Verratti, we will have to think of a Plan D,” Tuchel said after Saturday’s game at the Parc des Princes.

PSG facing injury crisis against Manchester United

Verratti is expected to be fit for the trip to Old Trafford after playing 60 minutes against Girondins following a brief spell on the sidelines but Cavani’s situation looks more concerning for Tuchel. The Uruguay forward has scored 21 in 25 appearances this season – only Kylian Mbappé has managed more in Ligue 1 – and if he is ruled out Tuchel will be hugely reliant on the France international to carry the mantle against United.

If Mbappé is required to lead the line, Tuchel could deploy Ángel di María on the right and Julian Draxler on the left of the 19-year-old, but the patching up job extends further than just the attack.

Verratti is a risk should he suffer any ill-effects from his injury layoff but will in almost all certainty play, and he could be accompanied by central defender Marquinhos, deployed in a holding role to try and shackle the in-form Paul Pogba. Dani Alves is also an option to step up into midfield, but the 35-year-old is not the dynamo he once was and recent signing Leandro Paredes may be thrown into the fray although that also represents a huge gamble as the defensive midfielder has only been at the club two weeks and has played just 11 minutes in Ligue 1.

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