PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain will get 2018 underway away at fellow Ligue 1 side Rennes in the Coupe de France on Sunday without Edinson Cavani, Javier Pastore and Layvin Kurzawa.
Cavani and Pastore are in hot water with the club after not turning up to training on Wednesday — the first session after the winter break — while Kurzawa is ruled out with illness.
Cavani is now back training again in Paris — albeit alone on Friday — but Pastore’s whereabouts are still unknown with PSG’s official website describing him as “missing” on the squad list.
Sources have told ESPN FC that the Ligue 1 leaders plan to sanction both players once Pastore returns and that the severity of their punishment will depend on their reasons for failing to return on time.
Kylian Mbappe and Neymar are part of Unai Emery’s squad for the trip to Roazhon Park this weekend while Angel Di Maria could benefit from Cavani and Pastore’s absence.
Adrien Rabiot is back for the three-time defending champions after his recent injury lay-off and could feature alongside Marco Verratti and Thiago Motta in midfield.
Kurzawa’s unavailability will give Yuri Berchiche a chance to strengthen his claims for a place in Emery’s starting XI over the second half of the season.
Lucas Moura has been left out once again as PSG try to push him towards the exit door this month, while Hatem Ben Arfa faces a similar situation and has not been included in the squad.
Youth academy graduates Yacine Adli and Alec Georgen are rested, while Sebastien Cibois — now third choice goalkeeper after Remy Descamps’ departure on loan to Ligue 2 side Tours — is suspended.
Even though regular goalkeeper Alphonse Areola has been included in the group, Kevin Trapp is expected to start.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.