Champions League

Neymar, Mbappé and Cavani could all miss Real Madrid game

The Brazilian is suspended while the Frenchman has a hamstring injury and the Uruguay forward a hip problem, handing Madrid a potential boost.

Neymar, Mbappé and Cavani could all miss Real Madrid game

Real Madrid would probably have preferred to avoid Paris Saint-Germain in the group stage of the 2019-20 Champions League, but the vagaries of the fixture calendar have done Zinedine Zidane’s side a favor they could scarcely have hoped for when the draw was made: Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and Edinson Cavani could all be missing when the sides meet in the opening round of fixtures in Paris on 18 September.

Neymar is definitely ruled out after picking up a three-game ban last season courtesy of a social media outburst during PSG’s loss to Manchester United in the last 16. Mbappé will be hard pushed to make the game in Paris after being ruled out for a month with a muscle tear sustained during his side’s victory over Toulouse, a problem for PSG that was exacerbated when Cavani did not emerge from the tunnel after half time. The Uruguay striker was subsequently diagnosed with a hip problem that is expected to require at least three weeks to fully heal.

That timeframe gives Cavani some chance of being fit to face Madrid, but he will naturally be lacking match fitness unless he makes a comeback ahead of schedule and is able to play against either Stade Reims or Girondins.

Zidane should have Hazard, Isco and James back in Paris

Zidane has his own injury concerns going into the international break but should have most of his walking wounded back before his side host Levante the weekend before the trip to Paris. Eden Hazard, who has yet to make his competitive debut for Madrid, has been called up by Belgium and should be available while Isco and James Rodríguez are also expected to have recovered from minor complaints by then.