September 17, 2019 / 5:16 PM / 3 months ago

Icardi doubtful for depleted PSG against Real

PARIS (Reuters) - The fitness of Paris St Germain forward Mauro Icardi is still in doubt for the Champions League clash with Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Soccer Football - Champions League - Paris St Germain Training - Ooredoo Training Centre, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France - September 17, 2019 Paris St Germain's Mauro Icardi, Marco Verratti and team mates during training REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani, who had expected to be fit for the game at the Parc des Princes, has been ruled out injured along with France forward Kylian Mbappe. Brazilian Neymar is suspended.

Icardi, PSG’s latest recruit, could start up front but coach Thomas Tuchel is unsure about his condition as the Argentine only played half an hour in Ligue 1 last weekend.

“I don’t know exactly how fit he is,” Tuchel told a news conference on Tuesday.

“I don’t know how long he can play, maybe he should start or maybe Eric Choupo-Moting can start. Everybody knows we miss a few strikers but I trust the players I have for this game.”

The French champions return to the European stage for the fist time since their humiliating elimination by Manchester United in the round of 16 last season.

“This game will not decide everything. I want us to play our game, aggressively and play to win,” German Tuchel said.

“We’ve put last season behind us and we are looking ahead. We’ve made changes, there are new players and we’ve gained experience.

“We’re stronger, I’m not afraid to say it, especially with our new players like Keylor Navas,” said PSG midfielder Marco Verratti.

Goalkeeper Navas joined from Real Madrid after winning the Champions League three times with the Spanish club.

Real enter the tie having only won two of their opening four La Liga games but Tuchel warned that Zinedine Zidane’s team would still be a major threat with Frenchman Karim Benzema up front.

“He’s one of the most underrated players in football. He’s been Real Madrid’s number nine for 25 years,” Tuchel added with a smile.

Club Brugge host Galatasaray in the other Group A game on Wednesday.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond

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