Marco Verratti is set to miss Paris Saint-Germain’s Coupe de France tie away at Saint-Etienne as the midfielder continues his recovery from a groin injury sustained last month, according to L’Equipe.
The Italian international has been struggling with a groin problem since January, having completed just two full games for PSG since the turn of the year, but made his first league start in seven weeks against Stade de Remis on the 20th.
Verratti was absent for crucial fixtures against Chelsea in the Champions League and Lyon, to whom the Parisians surrendered an unbeaten run that spanned across 36 Ligue 1 encounters, last Sunday.
Laurent Blanc proclaimed before the visit of Chelsea that the 23-year-old was suffering from the same injury and that it was “still aggravated” before stating that the club would “give him rest”. The champions are in a position to leave out the former Pescara man, who missed six weeks due to an ankle injury earlier in the season, as they remain 33 points adrift from second-placed Monaco.
While Verratti will not travel to partake in a potentially tricky tie with Christophe Galtier’s Saint-Etienne, the diminutive midfield anchor could return this Saturday when PSG welcome Montpellier. The winner of Ligue 1’s greatest foreign player last season (UNFP) could also feature in vital clashes with Chelsea and latterly Monaco, when Les Rouge-et-Bleu could secure their fourth successive title.
Angel Di Maria should be available after a thigh complaint also ruled the Argentine out of the Lyon defeat. Gregory van der Wiel could also feature if selected while Serge Aurier remains out of favour due to some unsavoury comments made in February.
New contract signals importance
Marco Verratti is just one of a plethora of stars to have graced the Parc des Princes since the much-publicised takeover in 2012 but has become integral to the club’s success.
Regularly starting at the base of a midfield three, his role is to dictate the tempo of the match and he continues to do this superbly. Demetrio Albertini even compared his countryman to Xavi due to his passing style, physical stature and ability to retain possession.
The PSG number six, the number also worn by Xavi at Barcelona, was awarded a new contract earlier this year that saw the youngster extend his stay in the French capital to 2020. He told the northern outfit’s official website that he was “very happy” to extend his contract by another year before saying that he would “continue to give his all” to bring “joy and success” to the supporters.