December 2, 2021

Neymar doubtful in Marseille clash despite returning to training after the injury

2 min read

The Paris Saint-Germain talisman Neymar has returned to training two days before they take on Marseille in the Champions Trophy, as confirmed by the French champions. Last December, Neymar was carried off in injury-time during the match acquired during 1-0 home defeat to Lyon in Ligue 1 last December. The 28-year-old forward left the pitch after a bad tackle from Lyon’s Thiago Mendes.

However, the Brazilian star is still in doubts for the match match against Marseille, who finished second to PSG in Ligue 1 last season as new coach Mauricio Pochettino is unclear whether Neymar will be fit in time to field in the pitch. Pochettino said after Saturday’s 3-0 win over mid-table outfit Brest that he did not know whether he would be able pick Neymar midweek.

Prior to the injury, Neymar scored a stunning hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain trailed to a 5-1 win over Istanbul Basaksehir.  He has now reached 20 goals for PSG, a mark he also reached during his four years at Barcelona, where he notched 21 in 40 games. Nobody in history has ever managed to score 20 for two clubs in the history of the tournament.

His hat-trick, meanwhile, is his third Champions League hat-trick since Celtic in December 2013 and against Crvena Zvezda in October 2018, making him the only third player to have scored more hat-tricks in the competition, following Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo (8 each). PSG reached the top 16 of the Champions League and will be back in action to once attempt to clinch the title.

Meanwhile, Rafinha has been ruled out after contracting Covid-19, but Presnel Kimpembe and Leandro Paredes have joined Neymar in making a return to the training field, while Kurzawa, Florenzi and Icardi were all included in the matchday squad for a 3-0 win over Brest. This is good news for Pochettino as his best players are now recovering from their injuries and ready to take the pitch anytime soon.

Neymar may come into contention for the Ligue 1 meeting with Angers over the weekend. The Champions League runners up have been plagued with injuries and infections during the coronavirus-hit season, leading them to the poor start that cost the job of former boss Thomas Tuchel. They currently sit second in their domestic league this season, with only a point behind the leaders Lyon.

PSG managed to make it to the last 16 of the Champions League, drawing against Barcelona. The ex-Tottenham boss replaced Tuchel in a deal at the Parc des Princes until June 2022, with the option for an extra year, in his first managerial role since being sacked by Spurs in 2019. The new Argentine boss won his debut match as Paris Saint-Germain coach at home, trailing 3-0 against Brest last weekend.