Neymar to be left out of PSG starting lineup to face Real Madrid

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Neymar has not been able to shake off an ankle injury in time to return to the PSG starting lineup for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie against Real Madrid.

The Brazilian midfielder returned to training last week before spending some time ahead of the tough match against Real, but the French club were optimistic about his chances of playing on Tuesday night.

And while he is still expected to play a role, ESPN’s Rodrigo Faez reports that Neymar will not start as PSG do not want to take such a big risk.

Neymar has been sidelined for some time – most of them this season – while in Paris. In four full seasons at PSG, he has played more than 30 games in all competitions in one campaign.

Mauricio Pochettino has Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe – talked about moving to Madrid in the summer – who have to ask, although it remains to be seen who will start the attack.

Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi Simons played in the right-wing during PSG’s 1-0 win over Rennes on Friday, with former Real Angel Angel Maria Maria and striker Mauro Icardi both appearing on the bench.

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