Monday, March 27, 2017

Neymar doubtful for Deportivo trip after PSG heroics

  • >> Reuters
    Published: 2017-03-11 23:16:40 BdST

bdnews24

Barcelona forward Neymar is a doubt for Sunday's La Liga game at Deportivo La Coruna after missing training on Saturday, potentially depriving the champions of their hero from the stunning 6-1 win over Paris St Germain in the Champions League.

The Brazilian, who scored two of Barca's three late goals to complete a historic comeback from a 4-0 first-leg loss to the French champions, missed training with a thigh problem along with compatriot Rafinha who was suffering from gastroenteritis.

Barca lead Real Madrid by one point at the top of the standings while their arch-rivals have an extra game in hand and host struggling Real Betis hours after Barca visit Deportivo, who are unbeaten in their three games under new coach Pepe Mel.

Barca manager Luis Enrique admitted his side faced a challenge in coming down from the cloud of emotion of their exploits on Wednesday but said he trusted his players to prepare appropriately for the game at Deportivo.

"Without doubt it's something we have to be aware of and overcome but I trust the wisdom and sense of my players to realise that we're in the final stretch of the season and that we have everything to play for," Luis Enrique told reporters.

"We're also playing teams with the same desire as us so it will be very tough. We prepare for every game with the same intensity , every game has the same award and we won't change anything."

Wednesday's epic win booked Barca's place in next Friday's Champions League quarter-final draw, restoring hopes of winning a second treble in three years.

"We know everything is still yet to be decided, that there will be eight teams left in the Champions League, we're fighting for the title with two teams and we're in the cup final. That can mean we win zero trophies, one, two or three," Luis Enrique said.

"What happened on Wednesday gives everyone more motivation but we've always been united as a team and we know how to deal with a situation like this. It's great to celebrate trophies but sometimes you have the right mentality to dig in together to overcome defeats."