Paris Saint-Germain have a real dilemma. Two of our formidable midfield trio are on the cusp of missing Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 second-leg clash away to Chelsea. This will be a monumental dent to our chances despite heading into the game with a 2-1 lead. You can guarantee the Blues will be itching for the two men to miss out, as this will give them a major boost in front of their own fans. As for the supporters of PSG, we are just crossing everything that Blaise Matuidi and Marco Verratti somehow make it!
Losing one is bad enough, let alone two. Matuidi picked up his injury away at Saint-Etienne last week whereas Verratti has been struggling with a bone issue in his groin, which is causing some real discomfort. The little Italian played the first-leg but had to come off at half-time four days later in the 4-1 win over Reims.
Verratti being out is a blow but Matuidi potentially missing the game is severely detrimental. We really need his legs in midfield at the Bridge. Away from home, the hosts need to score and we will suffer large spells without the ball. This is exactly the kind of game where big bad Blaise revels in and the Parisian players, being away from home, will do more running than they have done all season.
So assuming both will miss out, who will come in? Javier Pastore looks an absolute shoeing having not started the game at home to Montpellier last Saturday. The Argentine has only recently come back from injury and there is no doubt he would have started at the weekend had our midfield not been so depleted. His match fitness is not up to speed but did complete 90 minutes in Saint-Etienne, as well as getting minutes under his belt against Lyon and MHSC.
Adrien Rabiot has proven to be a trusted and important member of the squad. He will come in alongside Pastore and Thiago Motta. His energy will not fully compensate for Blaise’s absence but he’s not a bad alternative to have.
In essence, we are heading into this game depleted in the most important area of the pitch. To put it mildly, losing a Matuidi for me in a game like this is greater than having Zlatan Ibrahimovic absent.