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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Zidane: Real Madrid need to be at '2000 per cent' against PSG despite Neymar absence

Brazilian forward ruled out for three months with broken foot and will therefore miss the return leg of the last-16 Uefa Champions League clash. 

Neymar lies on the pitch after sustaining a broken bone in his foot during PSG's Ligue 1 clash with Marseille. Geoffrey van Der Hasslet / AFP
Neymar lies on the pitch after sustaining a broken bone in his foot during PSG's Ligue 1 clash with Marseille. Geoffrey van Der Hasslet / AFP

The absence of an injured Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain's line-up for next Tuesday's Uefa Champions League last-16 tie will not boost Real Madrid's chances of securing victory, Zinedine Zidane said on Friday.

The world's most expensive player has been ruled out of action for three months after opting for surgery on a fractured metatarsal in an attempt to get fit for the World Cup in June.

Former Madrid winger Angel Di Maria is likely to take the Brazilian's place at the Parc des Princes as PSG chase down a 3-1 deficit from the first leg against the 12-time European champions.

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"The absence of Neymar is not a relief for us at all. We feel sorry for Neymar, but PSG are a very strong team and the player who comes in for him will be a very good player, we can be sure of that," Madrid manager Zidane said ahead of Madrid's Primera Liga game at home to Getafe on Saturday.

"We don't think it will be any easier without Neymar, we know that in Paris we'll have to be at 2000 per cent if we want to go through."

Madrid midfielders Luka Modric and Toni Kroos were again absent from training on Friday due to a knee and hamstring injury respectively, increasing concerns they will not be fit for the second leg in the French capital.

Full-back Marcelo completed full training for a second day in a row after recovering from a hamstring problem and Zidane said he could feature against Getafe.

"The most important thing is that Marcelo is available tomorrow. We'll keep checking on Modric and Kroos each day, the thing that concerns us the most is how they are feeling," he said.

Madrid are third in the Primera Liga standings and saw a five-game winning streak in all competitions snapped by a surprise 1-0 defeat to Espanyol on Tuesday, leaving them 15 points behind table-topping Barcelona and 10 adrift of second-placed Atletico Madrid.

"I don't think we deserved to lose the game but we need to stay focused until the end of every game," said Zidane, referring to Gerard Moreno's injury time winner for Espanyol.

"We are very annoyed about that but it doesn't change anything and we have to look to the Getafe game, try to play well and win again. The players are naturally thinking about Tuesday (against PSG) but in order to play well there we need to focus on playing well tomorrow."