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Pochettino's chance to win first trophy at PSG boosted with return of Neymar and Kimpembe

Neymar, who was injured during a Ligue 1 match on 14 December, returned to training on 11 January.
Neymar, who was injured during a Ligue 1 match on 14 December, returned to training on 11 January. FRANCK FIFE AFP
3 min

Mauricio Pochettino’s bid to win the first title of his managerial career received a fillip on Monday with the return to training of Paris Saint-Germain first team stars Neymar and Presnel Kimpembe.


Neymar was injured during PSG’s 1-0 defeat at home to Lyon on 14 December. The 28-year-old Brazilian was not expected to resume  action until the end of the month. Kimpembe, 25, has been sidelined since a 0-0 draw at Lille on 21 December.

Their appearance comes a few days after Mauro Icardi, Layvin Kurzawa and Alessandro Florenzi recovered from injuries to feature in the squad which cruised past Brest 3-0 on Saturday night at the Parc des Princes.

Pochettino’s side face Marseille on Wednesday night for the Trophée des Champions - effectively a French Super Cup pitting the league champions against the winners of the Coupe de France.

With PSG winning all three domestic trophies in 2020, Marseille qualify for the game as Ligue 1 runners-up.

André Villas-Boas’ Marseille side go into the clash at the Stade Bollaert in Lens on the back of a surprise 0-0 draw at Dijon on Saturday. However, they have the bragging rights after beating PSG 1-0 at the Parc des Princes at the start of the top flight campaign.

"Winning at the Parc des Princes earlier in the season should help to inspire the team," said Villas-Boas on Monday. "There are certainly things to improve on and we will have to work hard to be successful again."

PSG were then under the guidance of Thomas Tuchel. But the German was sacked on 24 December following a 4-0 defeat of Strasbourg. Pochettino, the former boss at English Premier League clubs Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur, was named as his replacement on 2 January.


In the 12 years since starting as a coach at Espanyol in Spain, the 48-year-old Argentine, has failed to steer a team to silverware. His Tottenham side lost the 2015 League Cup final to Chelsea and they went down to Liverpool in the 2019 Champions League final.

"PSG have stuttered," added Villas-Boas. "They have won all the domestic cups recently.

"When they last stumbled a few years ago, Monaco were able to take advantage. If they do so again this year Marseille have got to be in a position to profit from that.

"But the reality is PSG have had more money than everyone else."

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