PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain will be without Neymar, Thiago Silva, Thiago Motta and Layvin Kurzawa as they seek their first win in three matches at home to Lille on Saturday.
Ligue 1 leaders welcome Les Dogues to Parc des Princes after a 2-1 defeat away at Strasbourg last weekend and a 3-1 loss away at Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday.
PSG coach Unai Emery is deprived of superstar Neymar through suspension, while captain Silva, defensive midfielder Motta and left back Kurzawa are all injured or recovering from fitness problems.
During his prematch news conference on Friday, Emery admitted the injured trio were unlikely to feature.
“Thiago [Motta] is doing better and could return to full training with the squad next week. Thiago [Silva] is having further examinations today. Layvin did not train on Thursday — we will make a decision about him after the final training session.”
PSG’s squad announcement later confirmed that Kurzawa would not be available.
Neymar is banned after a booking in the recent 2-1 win away at Monaco in Le Championnat triggered a suspended sentence that was part of his punishment for his red card for two bookable offences in the 2-2 draw away at bitter rivals Marseille in Le Classique back in October.
The Brazil international’s absence means that unwanted Lucas Moura gets a rare chance in Emery’s 18-man squad with the January transfer window approaching and Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan interested, according to a source.
Silva and Kurzawa’s absences create a shortage in defence, so Stanley Nsoki has been handed a surprise call-up to the senior group for this one.
No Motta means that PSG remain short-handed in midfield but despite a relative shortage of fit senior stars, there is still no space for the undesired Hatem Ben Arfa — like Lucas, he could be on the move in Janaury.
Otherwise, Alec Georgen and Remy Descamps have been left with the reserves and miss the cut.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.