Verratti needs ‘miracle’ to face City – Blanc


Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti needs a “miracle” to face Manchester City in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg, manager Laurent Blanc said on Monday.

The Italy midfielder, 23, has not played since injuring his groin during PSG’s 4-1 Ligue 1 win at home to Reims on February 20.

Blanc included him in his 24-man squad for the trip to Manchester, which follows last week’s 2-2 first-leg draw, but he poured cold water on Verratti’s chances of playing.

“Marco Verratti is here because we decided to bring the whole squad,” Blanc told his pre-match press conference at the Etihad Stadium.

“He’s not been available for a month and a half. Everyone knows what condition he is in at the moment.

“After the first leg against Manchester City I told you certain things. You didn’t believe me and you said it was too radical, that there must be something else to it.

“So I replied that for Marco Verratti to take the pitch in the return leg, it would need a miracle. So we’ll wait until tomorrow and see if a miracle occurs tonight. That’s where we are.”

Verratti warmed up with the rest of his team-mates in the part of the pre-match training session open to the media, but then broke away to do individual exercises with a fitness coach.

PSG are already guaranteed to be without centre-back David Luiz and central midfielder Blaise Matuidi, who are suspended after being booked in the first leg.

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