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Champions League: PSG benching Neymar against Real Madrid

By
Alex Butler
Neymar has four goals in six Ligue 1 games this season for Paris Saint-Germain. Photo by Yoan Valat/EPA-EFE
Neymar has four goals in six Ligue 1 games this season for Paris Saint-Germain. Photo by Yoan Valat/EPA-EFE

Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Brazilian soccer superstar Neymar will not start for Paris Saint-Germain's UEFA Champions League clash against Real Madrid on Tuesday in Madrid.

Sources told ESPN FC and Le Parisien that Neymar will be on the bench during kickoff. Official lineups won't be released until 45 minutes before the first touch of the Group A matchup at 3 p.m. EST Tuesday at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

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Kylian Mbappe, Maura Icardi and Angel Di Maria are expected to start the match against the La Liga power. Neymar and Edinson Cavani will be available off the bench. Icardi and Di Maria scored in PSG's 2-0 win against Lille Friday in Paris. Neymar started and played 65 minutes, before being replaced by Mbappe in the second half of the Ligue 1 meeting.

Neymar missed six weeks this season due to a left thigh injury. He has yet to make an appearance during the 2019-2020 Champions League group stage after missing the first two games due to a suspension and the second two due to injury. He has four goals in six Ligue 1 games this season.

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"We are going to pick the players [Tuesday] morning," PSG manager Thomas Tuchel told reporters Monday. "My players have shown a lot of qualities in recent weeks even though we have had to shuffle the team around a lot.

"I'm going to have some tough choices to make, but they're nice choices, because it means my players are available. I have faith in them and I know they're ready to accept the tactical decisions that will be taken."

PSG battles Monaco in Ligue 1 at 3 p.m. EST Sunday in Monaco. They play their final Champions League Group stage clash against Galatasaray at 3 p.m. Dec. 11 in Paris. PSG sits atop Group A with a 4-0 record, while Real Madrid is in second place at 2-1-1.

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