Sunday, July 21, 2019 | ePaper

Neymar near comebacks as stuttering PSG try to wrap up title

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Agency :
It has turned into something of an epic limp towards the finish line, but Paris Saint-Germain will hope to finally secure another Ligue 1 title when they play host to Monaco on Sunday.
Having run away with the league for most of the season, PSG have so far squandered three chances to retain the French crown this month, each time in quite remarkable fashion.
Thomas Tuchel's team could have become champions in record-equalling time had they beaten Strasbourg on April 7, but Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's unbelievable miss from on the goal line cost them in a 2-2 draw.
Last weekend they lost 5-1 at second-placed Lille, the first time they had conceded five in a league game since 2000, and on Wednesday, with a seriously weakened side, another chance was passed up in a 3-2 loss at Nantes.
Three games, one point and 10 goals conceded. PSG had not suffered back-to-back league defeats since November 2011.
Nevertheless, they are still 17 points ahead of Lille, and will be crowned champions before kick-off against Monaco on Sunday should Lille fail to win at Toulouse.
Otherwise they will need to beat the 2017 champions to secure the title, just as they did a year ago with a 7-1 win over the same opponents.
While Tuchel complains about not having enough players, the good news here is that Angel di Maria and Marquinhos are set to return from injuries, while Juan Bernat and Marco Verratti are available after suspension.
Kylian Mbappe will play against his former team after being rested at Nantes, a decision which Tuchel was later forced to defend: "It is my decision, my management, there is no explanation," he said.
Meanwhile, sports daily L'Equipe reported on Friday that Edinson Cavani could play some part after spending most of the last two months on the sidelines with a hip injury.
In addition, Neymar has stepped up his recovery having been out since late January with a foot injury.

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