Champions League

How much will PSG miss Neymar against Barcelona?

The Brazilian superstar has been ruled out of the second leg of the Champions League last-16 tie, but how much will PSG miss him?

 
12:33pm on Tuesday 9th March 2021
By
Cameron Smith

It has been confirmed that Neymar will miss the second leg of PSG's Champions League last-16 tie against Barcelona, with the Brazilian still not fully recovered from the adductor injury that ruled him out of the first leg.

A PSG club statement read: "Neymar Jr. Juan Bernat and Moise Kean are all unavailable for the UEFA Champions League Last 16 second-leg tie. Neymar Jr.returned to partial training with the squad last week and will continue to work back to fitness individually. A new assessment will be made in the coming days."

Neymar, who has already missed 18 games due to injury and illness this season, has struggled for consistent fitness ever since his world-record move from Barcelona to PSG and he will miss yet another Champions League knockout tie, a theme becoming all too familiar.

In fact, Neymar has sat out 80 games due to a combination of illness, being rested due to a knock and most notably injury since moving to Paris in 2017, in comparison to missing just 29 games during his four years at Barcelona.

He is still yet to make over 30 appearances in all competitions in a single season for PSG, a feat he managed every year in Spain.

Neymar's 2020/21 PSG stats:

Despite only playing 18 games this season (15 starts), Neymar has still scored 13 goals and assisted four in all competitions, collecting six man of the match awards along the way.

His elegant, flamboyant style has caught the eye as usual, with the Brazilian completing 5.4 dribbles per 90 across the league and Champions League this campaign.

He has also created seven big chances in Ligue 1, behind only Pablo Sarabia in the PSG squad, and is taking 4.6 shots per 90, the most of any Ligue 1 player with over 500 minutes in the competition.

29 yrs - AM, W (L) - PSG
99
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
865
Played matches
11
6
3
Shots P90
4.58
Final third passes
33.54
Dribbles P90
5.63
Crosses P90
3.75

Across his whole PSG career, the superstar has scored 83 goals and assisted 43 in 103 appearances.

Neymar is one of the greatest talents of a generation, and take that away from any team, and they will be hurt, but PSG have managed without him in the past, and they will have to do it again.

Kylian Mbappe to step up?

Neymar missed the first leg and Mbappe put on a show; a hat-trick and an all-round performance that elevated him to the next level, the Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo level.

He proved that he doesn't need Neymar alongside him, and prompted questions that he plays better without the Brazilian alongside him.

PSG defender Marquinhos squashed these rumours, and the statistics do the same.

In Ligue 1 this season, Mbappe has contributed to 12 goals (eight goals and four assists) in 10 games with Neymar playing with him, and 12 goals (10 goals and two assists) in 13 games without him.

He also scored twice in the French Cup at the weekend without the Brazilian present, but it's clear that Mbappe is a supreme talent with, or without Neymar by his side.

With Neymar out of the second leg, PSG and Mauricio Pochettino will need Mbappe to step up once more, something he's more than capable of doing.

Will Neymar's absence hurt PSG? Sure, but Mbappe is talented enough to see them through into the quarter-finals.

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