Neymar could be left out of Paris Saint-Germain’s Ligue 1 match against Saint-Etienne on Friday in order to keep him fresh for a Champions League clash with Liverpool, Thomas Tuchel has said.
The Brazil star and captain started friendlies against United States and El Salvador in the international break, scoring in both matches.
Neymar has now scored in six consecutive appearances for club and country but Tuchel hinted the 26-year-old could miss the Saint-Etienne game to preserve energy for Tuesday’s trip to Anfield.
“The only problem is: what’s the risk for him tomorrow [Friday] night? Can he play a whole match or less and still not look at the game in Liverpool?” Tuchel told a news conference.
“There was the match played Wednesday night, the flight, the jet lag, how he gets back… It’s the same for [Neymar’s Brazil team-mate] Marquinhos.
“I really like him dribbling. In my opinion, it’s our challenge to create opportunities when Neymar can play with his strength, his dribbling skills.
“It is a collective effort, of course, and he adapts very well and he is always concerned by the team and not focused on his game.”
While PSG could be without Neymar on Friday, Tuchel has been boosted by the return to fitness of Italy international Marco Verratti.
“It’s really important that a player with qualities like Marco has come back,” Tuchel said. “It’s also important that he’s healthy. He has to work to stay healthy.
“He has extraordinary qualities. He can make the difference in midfield, he is a very brave player, he always wants to have the ball. It’s important for us.”