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PSG lose Marquinhos for Bayern, Verratti faces late fitness test


Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain go into Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg at home to Bayern Munich without captain Marquinhos while midfielder Marco Verratti faces a late fitness test, the club confirmed on Monday.

Coach Mauricio Pochettino appeared to claim earlier that Marquinhos faced a fitness test, but later the club cleared up any confusion.

“The coach was talking about Verratti and not Marquinhos when he spoke about a late test,” PSG said.

“Marquinhos will not be in the squad,” they confirmed.

Marquinhos scored PSG’s second goal 28 minutes into their 3-2 win in Munich in the first leg last week but came off moments later with a thigh injury and did not play in Ligue 1 at the weekend.

Meanwhile Verratti missed the first leg after testing positive for Covid-19 following his return from Italy duty alongside Alessandro Florenzi. 

Verratti has missed PSG’s last three matches.

“It will be difficult for Marco to start, Alessandro too although we are waiting to decide,” added Pochettino.

Central defender Presnel Kimpembe said the Brazil centre-back’s absence was bad news for the team.

“He’s the leader of the defence and the captain of the team. We have other great players to replace him though,” Kimpembe said with Danilo Pereira a possible solution.

PSG are hoping to avoid a repeat of what happened against Barcelona in the last round, when they won 4-1 away in the first leg but wobbled in the return at the Parc des Princes before drawing 1-1 and progressing.

“In the first half at home to Barcelona we struggled to hold onto the ball,” Pochettino said.

“The approach needs to be different to the Barcelona game. We need to defend well but also try to cause problems to our opponents. That is the challenge facing us.”

The winners will face Manchester City or Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals.

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