Neymar could return to training in two to three weeks, says PSG boss Unai Emery

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Neymar has been out since February.

Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery says superstar playmaker Neymar could return to training before the end of April.

The Brazilian suffered a broken metatarsal at the end of February and was expected to be out for two to three months after undergoing surgery for the injury in his home country.

However, speaking ahead of PSG’s Ligue 1 clash against Saint-Etienne on Friday, Emery says Neymar is due back in Paris to have his recovery assessed by the club.

“”I spoke with Neymar and he told me that he is continuing to work,” Emery said at the pre-match press conference. “He will be back with us in two or three weeks – hopefully to resume training.”

The Spanish coach also denied that any talks about his own future at the club have taken place, amid another season punctuated by Champions League disappointment.

PSG have been linked with potential approaches for former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel, Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri, and Tottenham‘s Maurico Pochettino after the Parisians’ limp display against Real Madrid in the Round of 16.

But Emery said he didn’t feel any more pressure because of the European failure.

“Since I started out as a coach, requirements have not differed too much – you must win,” he said.

“You are always looking for good performances. I am happy here. I believe that things are positive here.

“The team has made progress. Each training session and each game motivates me. I still want to develop further.

“I have not spoken with the club about next season or my future. Now is not the time.

“We have continued our work since the Champions League exit. Perhaps we will discuss it in greater depth next week or the week after.

“I have a good relationship with the president [chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi] and Antero [Henrique, the sporting director]. We will see what is best for PSG and also for me.”

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Juventus' Gianluigi Buffon describes Real Madrid clash as a 'crazy challenge'

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Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has described his team’s Champions League quarter-final tie against Real Madrid as a ‘crazy challenge’.

Speaking on the importance of the clash, the veteran goalkeeper said: “It’s a game we definitely care a lot about. But we also know that we’re going to play against a team that is stronger than us.

“And that is because of history and the individual players they have,” Buffon added.

Juventus have a better track record against Spanish giants when the teams have competed in a two-leg battle, although Los Blancos hold the advantage when the teams have fought in finals.

The 40-year old went on to say: “I also know that since we have two games to play, the strongest team doesn’t always win. I’ve said the same many times about the national team.

“If we’re able to be better than them in these two games maybe we can overcome this crazy challenge,” said the Italian.

The two teams will go head-to-head in the first leg at Juventus’ home on Tuesday.

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Liverpool flop stars alongside Robert Lewandowski in European Team of the Week

Tom Biggs 2/04/2018
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Robert Lewandowski

Europe’s top five leagues returned to action this weekend following the international break, with a number of excellent performances with hat-tricks and braces aplenty.

With players from Bayern Munich, Tottenham Hotspur and Lazio all featuring, Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne are the best represented club in this weekend’s line-up.

Without further ado, here is our European Team of the Week.

GK – Karl-Johan Johnsson (Guingamp)

The 28-year-old made five saves against Bordeaux, as Guingamp won 2-1, and all five stops were exceptional. After two fingertip saves to deny Lukas Lerager and Malcom, Johnsson then kept out a penalty from the latter. Much to the goalkeeper’s disappointment, Malcom turned home the rebound to make it 2-1, before Johnsson then produced a superb double save to keep his side ahead, as they held on for all three points.

RB – Mathieu Debuchy (Saint-Etienne)

Saint-Etienne's Mathieu Debuchy scores against Nantes

Saint-Etienne’s Mathieu Debuchy scores against Nantes

Right-back Debuchy has been in excellent form since his move from Arsenal back to Ligue 1 with Saint-Etienne. Against Nantes, Debuchy made five interceptions and six clearances – more than any other player on either side – as well as blocking three shots and winning three aerial duels. At the other end, he showed excellent composure to open the scoring for Saint-Etienne, while his four efforts at goal was behind only midfielder Remy Cabella (6).

CB – Andrea Masiello (Atalanta)

Playing as part of a three-man Atalanta defence, Masiello produced an excellent display to help his side to a 2-0 win against Udinese. The former Genoa man made four clearances and one interception, as well as completing 91% of his passes. The 32-year-old’s goal is definitely worth a watch, as he showed excellent technique to volley home and seal an important win for his side as they kept up the pressure on AC Milan.

CB – Dante (OGC Nice)

A professional display from the experienced defender in a 2-0 win for OGC Nice against Troyes. Dante made two interceptions and three clearances. He also blocked four shots and won three aerial duels. On the ball he also impressed, as he made two key passes and had 110 touches during the game, with only midfielder Wylan Cyprien managing more. The 34-year-old had a pass success rate of 84% from his 90 passes played.

LB – Ben Chilwell (Leicester City)

Chilwell impressed for Leicester in their 2-0 victory against Brighton away from home. The young full back was excellent defensively, recording a game-high seven clearances, as well as three tackles and one interception as the Foxes kept Brighton at bay. Going forward, Chilwell was also a threat, as he provided the assist for Vicente Iborra’s opener and also made more key passes than any other Leicester player.

CM – Luis Alberto (Lazio)

The former Liverpool man produced a supreme midfield display as Lazio beat lowly Benevento 6-2 in Serie A. With pass success rate of 85% and seven key passes played during the match, Alberto controlled 9.3% of the overall possession in the game and had more touches than any other player. With two assists already to his name, he rounded off the win for Lazio with a calmly taken penalty late on.

CM – Remy Cabella (Saint-Etienne)

A simply stunning display from the former Newcastle United star. With one assist and two goals, the midfielder was the main man as Saint-Etienne won 3-0 away at Nantes. After setting up Mathieu Debuchy for his side’s opener, Cabella, who had more touches than any of his teammates, then showed excellent composure to make it 2-0 just after half time, before curling home beautifully from 20-yards to round off the victory for Saint-Etienne.

CM – Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)

Dele Alli celebrates his first goal against Chelsea

Dele Alli celebrates his first goal against Chelsea

This was one way to silence the critics and doubters. Alli has been under fire in recent weeks, and played very little of England’s games against the Netherlands and Italy, but he showed his class at Stamford Bridge. Receiving a long ball from Eric Dier, Alli’s touch and finish for his first goal was superb, before showing excellent composure four minutes later to finish from close range to seal the 3-1 victory for Spurs against Chelsea.

ST – Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

The Polish striker grabbed his second hat-trick in the month of March against former club Borussia Dortmund, as Bayern Munich moved one step closer to the Bundesliga title. Lewandowski’s first was superbly finished, lifting the ball over Roman Buerki, while his second and third were simply a case of being in the right place at the right time as he tapped home from close range, with Bayern hitting Dortmund for six.

ST – Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United)

Up against another side down the bottom in Southampton, West Ham United and David Moyes needed a hero. They found one in the form of Arnautovic, as the Austrian netted two goals in a vital 3-0 win that moved the Hammers up to 14th. Moments after missing a guilt-edged chance, the forward smashed home from close range having seen a header saved, before expertly volleying home his second to put the result beyond doubt.

ST – Paulo Dybala (Juventus)

Absent from the recent Argentina squad, Dybala looked like a rested man as he helped Juventus put AC Milan to the sword. The forward got Juve up and running with a lovely strike into the bottom corner from distance, before teeing up Sami Khedira late on to round off a vital 3-1 win for the reigning Serie A champions. Dybala completed seven dribbles and had a 90% pass success rate, as Juve moved four points clear of Napoli.

Sport360's European Team of the Week

Sport360’s European Team of the Week

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