Paris Saint-Germain will be without Neymar and Kylian Mbappe for this weekend’s high stakes Ligue 1 clash with Rennes, but the superstar pair will still head off for international duty with their respective countries next week.

Coach Thomas Tuchel had to do without the Brazilian and the Frenchman against RB Leipzig in the Champions League in midweek and the absence of the duo was clear as PSG slipped to a 2-1 defeat that leaves them staring at a possible failure to emerge from Group H this season.

Neymar, 28, picked up an adductor problem in the 2-0 win away at Istanbul Basaksehir nearly a fortnight ago and Mbappe, 21, has been suffering from a hamstring issue since the 3-0 victory away at Nantes in Ligue 1 last weekend.

Sources have told CBS Sports that PSG hoped to retain both players during the November international but Brazil and France’s respective football federations have justified their selections of the two for World Cup qualifiers and UEFA Nations League encounters.

Brazilian doctor Rodrigo Lasmar ruled Neymar out of the Venezuela clash but is hopeful of his involvement against Uruguay and French coach Didier Deschamps is likely to rest Mbappe for the friendly against Finland before facing Portugal and Sweden in the Nations League.

Speaking at Friday’s pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s clash with Rennes in Le Championnat, Tuchel admitted that PSG are powerless to prevent the likes of Brazil and France from calling up stars like Neymar and Mbappe.

“The national teams have the right to call up players,” said the German via Zoom. “There is nothing we can do. Of course, I would prefer that they do not play when they are injured.

“It is an important moment, one where we can recuperate missing players. However, at the same time, we must trust the national teams to treat them well and give them individual schedules to follow.

“We trust those in charge of the national teams. If they are called up, we cannot stop them.”

The former Borussia Dortmund coach faces a tough task with fellow Champions League representatives Rennes, one of the few teams to have performed well at Parc des Princes since the Qatari takeover of 2011 and come away with points.

The men from the capital of Brittany are the only side to have won in Paris more than once since the 2011-12 season and three of nine home defeats since Qatar Sports Investments’ arrival have been to Rennes.

Despite the absence of rising star Eduardo Camavinga, Julien Stephan’s men will be aiming to heap more misery upon Tuchel and PSG with four defeats across all competitions already on the board this campaign — a record worst start to a term during the Qatari era.

The 47-year-old will find it hard to survive a fifth with the looming second match against Leipzig likely to decide PSG’s Champions League fate.

On top of Neymar and Mbappe, PSG remain without Marco Verratti, Mauro Icardi, Presnel Kimpembe, Pablo Sarabia and Julian Draxler with Juan Bernat a long-term absentee after a difficult start to the season in terms of fitness.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here