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Thiago Motta ruled out for Real Madrid vs PSG but Edinson Cavani and Layvin Kurzawa return

February 13, 2018 5:58 PM
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Thiago Motta ruled out for Real Madrid vs PSG but Edinson Cavani and Layvin Kurzawa return

Cavani and the left-back missed the weekend's victory over Toulouse due to respective injuries.

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Thiago Motta will be unavailable to face Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday night (14 February) but striker Edinson Cavani and left-back Layvin Kurzawa are back in Unai Emery's 19-man squad after missing the weekend's 1-0 victory over Toulouse due to respective injuries.

Motta began the campaign as Emery's first choice in midfield and provide balance to his 4-3-3 formation behind Adrien Rabiot and Marco Verratti and the fearsome attacking trident formed by Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Cavani.

However, the 35-year-old midfielder has barely been able to play in the last four months due to varying injuries.

It looked like the former Barcelona and Inter Milan holding midfielder was going to be ready for the crucial clash with Real after he returned to action in the second half of the 4-1 victory over Sochaux on 6 February.

But the veteran midfielder failed to prove his fitness in the cup game with the Ligue 1 side and Emery consequently decided to leave him out of his squad for the win over Toulouse on Saturday [10 February].

Emery believes that the trip to Madrid will also come too early for Motta and has omitted him from the squad alongside Ben Arfa, Sebastian Cibois and Christopher Nkunku.

The former Sevilla boss faces a selection dilemma over the position with January signing Lassana Diarra, Giovani Lo Celso and even Rabiot vying for the role.

Diarra would be the natural choice but it is uncertain whether the 32-year-old will be ready for such a big challenge having only made four appearances for PSG since his January arrival from Al Jazira.

Twenty-one-year-old playmaker Lo Celso has covered the role several times during the opening half of the season while Emery could also consider deploying Rabiot to make space for the in-form Angel Di Maria in his starting line-up.

The return of the Uruguay international is a major boost for PSG with the striker having enjoyed an impressive opening half of the season, scoring 28 goals in 33 appearances.

Cavani is set to lead the attack alongside Neymar and Mbappe while Kurzawa will fight for a place with summer signing Yuri Berchiche for a place at left-back.

Source: ibtimes.co.uk

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