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Internationals threaten to scupper PSG quest for glory

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel is aiming to be the first coach to bring the Uefa Champions League trophy to the Parc des Princes.
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel is aiming to be the first coach to bring the Uefa Champions League trophy to the Parc des Princes. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel faces an anxious wait ahead of next week's crucial Champions League game against Liverpool following injuries to two of his star strikers during friendly internationals on Tuesday night.

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Neymar, worth 222 million euros, hobbled off early in Brazil's game against Cameroon in Milton Keynes in central England and Kylian Mbappé's 186 million euro frame was damaged in a collision with the Uruguay goalkeeper Martin Campana at the Stade de France.

At least PSG's Edinson Cavani survived the game physically unscathed. He was part of a toothless tandem with Luis Suarez against an obdurate France rearguard missing two of the defenders who played in the World Cup final against Croatia in Moscow in July.

PSG host Liverpool in Paris on 28 November for the penultimate game in Group C. PSG sit third in the pool, one point behind the Merseysiders who are equal on points with first-placed Napoli.

France coach Didier Deschamps said: "Kylian had some shoulder pain after his fall but there is no serious concern."

Neymar played down his injury, saying in an Instagram message that it was nothing serious. The Brazil team doctor, Rodrigo Lasmar, echoed the striker's optimism. "He felt discomfort," Lasmar said. "He will need a bit more time to evaluate it and take a scan, but in principle it is not a serious injury."

Paris Saint-Germain's bigwigs have made no secret of their yearning to secure the Uefa Champions League. Then and only then, they feel, will they be able to sit among the elite of the European game.

Unai Emery was unceremoniously ditched at the end of the 2017/18 season for failing to take the expensively assembled squad beyond the last 16 during his two seasons at the Parc des Princes. Laurent Blanc was also dispatched for being a serial loser in the quarter-finals.

PSG have few concerns about not fielding their star players in the French top flight. They are already 13 points clear of second placed Lille after 13 straight victories.

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