PSG Hope Marco Verrati & Matuidi Recover In Time For The Chelsea Game
Paris Saint-Germain are willing to wait until the last minute to make a decision on the fitness of key midfield duo Blaise Matuidi and Marco Verratti before their Champions League match against Chelsea, but fear the latter is losing his race to start the game.
Matuidi has been out with a thigh injury and is hoping to prove his fitness for Wednesday night’s last-16 second leg at Stamford Bridge, but PSG are less optimistic over Verratti’s chances.
Verratti has been sidelined by a groin injury that was deemed serious enough for the Italy side's chief medic Enrico Castellacci to check the 23-year-old over in Paris.
Despite his injury problems, Verratti is desperate to play some part against Chelsea and is hoping to travel to England with the squad to undergo a fitness test on the day of the game.
Even if he comes through a last-minute test, Verratti may not be risked from the start against Chelsea with PSG holding a 2-1 lead from the first leg.
Losing either Matuidi or Verratti for the second leg would be a huge blow for PSG, as both men were excellent in the Parc des Princes against Chelsea.
PSG are likely to start with 20-year-old Adrien Rabiot in midfield in place of Verratti with Lucas Moura still preferred in the front three to Edinson Cavani, despite the fact the Uruguayan scored the winning goal in the first leg and has an impressive record against Chelsea.
Having all but ruled captain John Terry out of the second leg, Chelsea interim is still sweating on the fitness of Pedro Rodríguez for the game.
Pedro suffered a hamstring injury against Southampton and will need to complete a full training session on Tuesday to be deemed fit enough to start against PSG.
He had finally found his form before his injury and Hiddink will be keen to have Pedro’s speed and creativity at his disposal with Chelsea having to score at least once to stand a chance of reaching the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, Antonio Conte, who is expected to be appointed as Chelsea’s next manager in the summer, has asked for his trial in a case over match-fixing to be expedited.
Conte has been accused of failing to report a fix against Albinoleffe when he was manager of Siena, a charge he has always strongly denied.
A new round of trials has called on Conte to give evidence, but the Italian is requesting a fast-track trial to leave himself clear of any accusations before he potentially takes over at Chelsea.
Conte will also want the matter to be dealt with in plenty of time before he leads Italy at this summer’s European Championship.
The appointment of Conte as Chelsea’s manager for next season could be sealed this week at a meeting between the 46-year-old and Blues owner Roman Abramovich in Monte Carlo.