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Injured Neymar to miss midweek action



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Paris Saint-Germain will be without the injured Neymar as they look to continue their unbeaten record in Ligue 1 this season on Wednesday’s trip to Strasbourg.

The world’s most expensive player came off early in the second half in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Bordeaux after hurting the same groin he injured playing for Brazil against Cameroon last month.

Neymar had earlier put PSG in front but the reigning champions ended up seeing their perfect domestic record this season come to an end after 14 straight wins.

“With ‘Ney’ it is almost the same thing but not too serious,” coach Thomas Tuchel said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“He can’t play against Strasbourg but after that it is the same as after the international break – he rested against Toulouse but played against Liverpool.”

Neymar has scored 15 goals this season and his performance in last week’s Champions League win over Liverpool was one of his best since moving to Paris from Barcelona last year.

Without him Edinson Cavani will hope to return to the starting line-up after being left on the bench in Bordeaux, as PSG seek revenge for a 2-1 defeat at Strasbourg last season.

After Wednesday’s match against a Strasbourg side who ended the weekend in eighth place, PSG will have a free weekend before their crucial Champions League trip to Red Star Belgrade.

They had been due to host Montpellier on Saturday, but that game has been postponed following a request from Paris police, probably due to concerns about a repeat of last weekend’s violence in the French capital amid demonstrations against planned fuel tax increases.

PSG need to win in Belgrade to be certain of qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League for the seventh straight season, but Tuchel said he was unsure if the postponement would help his side.

“Honestly I don’t know if it’s good or not. I am not thinking too much about it, but for me it is absolutely clear, security has to come first,” said the German, who will also be without Lassana Diarra in Strasbourg due to a knee problem.

“It is a new situation for us but one that we need to deal with. That is our challenge now, to find a good training plan to get us ready for Belgrade.”

PSG’s dominance is such that they are already 14 points clear at the top of the table from Montpellier, who host fourth-placed Lille on Tuesday.

Third-placed Lyon are at home to Rennes on Wednesday aiming to extend a nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions that included a rousing performance in drawing with Manchester City in the Champions League last midweek.

Rennes come into the match in turmoil after suspending coach Sabri Lamouchi on Monday in the wake of a 4-1 home defeat against Strasbourg.

The move means the former France midfielder will almost certainly not return, and reserve team coach Julian Stephan will take interim charge.

With just one win in nine games since the appointment of Thierry Henry as coach, relegation-threatened Monaco are at Amiens on Tuesday.

The principality side are without as many as 14 players due to injuries and suspensions.

“I have never in my career seen half a squad out injured. It is unusual and it complicates things for us,” said goalkeeper Diego Benaglio.