PSG to be without five players for Coupe de France clash at Niort
Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery has revealed the defending champions will be missing at least five regular first-team players for the Coupe de France round-of-16 clash away to Chamois Niortais on Wednesday.
Speaking at his prematch news conference on Tuesday, the Spanish tactician confirmed Thiago Motta, Adrien Rabiot, Marco Verratti, Hatem Ben Arfa and Angel Di Maria will all remain in the French capital and not travel to Stade Rene Gaillard.
"Thiago has not been called up as he still has a calf problem, so he will continue to work with the fitness staff," Emery told journalists at Camp des Loges. "Adrien is sick; he has a temperature and did not train on Tuesday.
"Marco took a blow to the calf in Marseille, so he is not going to be ready for Wednesday's match. Hatem also picked up a knock last Sunday. He twisted his knee, so he has not been called up.
"Angel is doing fine but he is not 100 percent yet, so he will continue to work with the fitness staff."
Despite ruling out that quintet, Emery did suggest that forgotten man Grzegorz Krychowiak and winter arrival Giovani Lo Celso could be brought in from the cold and given chances to impress against PSG's Ligue 2 hosts this midweek.
"Grzegorz and Giovani? Every player is important," Emery replied when asked about the possibility of seeing the Poland international and young Argentine. "If they are called up, it is because they are ready to play. If they play, it is not just to give them a few minutes here and there -- it is to win the match.
"Like I said, a few players who played on Sunday are not available, so some of the others will get the chance to play for the victory here."
PSG have won the past two editions of the Coupe de France and are looking to make it to a third consecutive final while becoming the most decorated team in the competition's history.
Les Parisiens and bitter rivals Marseille have both won 10 titles each, with the Coupe de France celebrating its 100th edition this season.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.