PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain will be without superstar Neymar away at Nantes in Ligue 1 on Sunday after the Brazil international was left out of coach Unai Emery’s 19-man squad.
PSG’s justification for leaving Neymar out is treatment for costal cartilage pain — the Brazilian and captain Thiago Silva did not train with the rest of their teammates on Friday but both were with the squad on Saturday. Emery’s decision appears to have been based on what he saw after that session.
However, while Emery’s plans for the clash at Stade de la Beaujoire have suffered a blow with the Neymar news, he has received a boost with Edinson Cavani’s return to the travelling party.
Despite the Uruguay international’s return, Javier Pastore remains out of the squad and will stay in Paris to continue training.
Consequently, Lucas Moura has been added to the group but Thiago Motta remains sidelined through injury.
Silva does make the cut and Lucas has been included amid intense transfer speculation but Motta is still not ready after picking up an injury in Rennes last weekend.
Pastore, who contradicted Silva’s midweek comments after the Amiens Coupe de la Ligue win, remains in exile after his late return from South America after the winter break.
But Cavani appears to have served his sporting punishment for a similar reason but of a shorter duration, so he is back in the mix.
The unwanted Hatem Ben Arfa has been discarded once again, while youth academy graduates Sebastien Cibois and Alec Georgen have not been included.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.