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Injuries mounting at PSG ahead of Chelsea game

03 March 2016, 22:26

Paris — Because of an injury to Blaise Matuidi, Paris Saint-Germain's return to winning ways could turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory.

PSG reached the French Cup semifinals after losing at Lyon 2-1 last weekend in the league. The French leaders put on a gritty display of team unity to recover from its first domestic loss since last March.

But a week before playing against Chelsea in the return leg of the Champions League, PSG finished the game without Matuidi.

The midfielder left the field in the 67th minute after he felt pain behind his left leg. Matuidi is expected to miss Saturday's league match against Montpellier and could be sidelined for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

"I took him off as a precaution," PSG coach Laurent Blanc said. "I'm not worried for the second leg against Chelsea in the Champions League. But I'm lying to you when I say that. Because when a player leaves the pitch with an injury, I'm always worried."

Matuidi's injury is not the only concern for Blanc, who rested midfielder Marco Verratti and winger Angel Di Maria at Saint-Etienne. Verratti continues his recovery from a groin injury while Di Maria is nursing a thigh problem. With Thiago Motta also struggling to return to his best form, PSG's problems in midfield could make things difficult against the Blues.

PSG, which remains on course to defend its domestic treble, will travel to London with a with a 2-1 lead. In the league, the three-time defending champions have a 23-point lead over second-place Monaco, which plays at Caen on Friday. Third-place Lyon hosts Guingamp.

Also readAthletic Bilbao boss Valverde agrees new deal

Here are some other things to know ahead of this weekend's matches:


With 10 league matches left to play, Pascal Dupraz has a tough job ahead at Toulouse.

The newly-appointed coach will have to produce one of the best managerial acts in the history of the French league to keep his team up this season.

Dupraz was appointed this week as a replacement for Dominique Arribage. He has a good record in relegation fights, having saved his former team Evian from demotion twice.

Toulouse needs to erase a 10-point deficit behind 17th-place Reims.

"I'm told that the probability for Toulouse to remain in the top division is in the range of one in a billion," Dupraz said. "To me it's more one chance out of two, either we stay up, or we don't."


Already PSG's all-time leading scorer with 136 goals in all competitions, Zlatan Ibrahimovic needs only two more in the league to reach 100.

He could achieve the feat against Laurent Blanc's former club, Montpellier. Blanc is Montpellier's all-time leading scorer with 84 goals.

Ibrahimovic has been in fine form in recent weeks and has reached double figures for both goals (23) and assists (10) in the league.


Marseille fans will have to wait a bit longer before they see former Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby make his debut.

Diaby, who has not featured in an official game in more than a year, has picked up another injury, this time a hamstring strain.

Diaby's career has been hampered by injuries since he broke his ankle 10 years ago. He managed only two appearances in his final two seasons with Arsenal.

- AP


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