Neymar a doubt to face Marseille with stomach illness
PARIS -- Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery said that Neymar and Marco Verratti are doubts to face Marseille in Le Classique in Ligue 1 on Sunday as both are not fully fit.
Speaking at a prematch press conference on Friday, Emery cast doubt on the involvement of the two players, with Neymar ill and Verratti experiencing abdominal pain.
"Marco is still with the fitness staff, as has been the case for the past few days," Emery said at Camp des Loges. "He does not feel 100 percent.
"Neymar is sick, but I hope that he will be back in training on Saturday and that he will be able to play on Sunday. It is not an injury. It is gastroenteritis and a mild fever."
Emery added that he expects Neymar to play if he is passed fit to feature this weekend.
"When we play at Parc des Princes, every player feels something special," Emery said. "Neymar is just like the other players. He is intelligent and he learns from things that happen, individually and collectively, in order to not repeat the same mistakes.
"If Neymar plays on Sunday, he will be ready. He will be focused on putting in a great performance through his qualities in order to entertain the supporters."
Emery was also questioned over Giovani Lo Celso and whether his thoughts on the Argentina international have changed since a disappointing performance during the 3-1 Champions League round-of-16 first leg defeat away at Real Madrid.
"I am very, very happy," Emery said of Lo Celso. "Giovani has only been around for one year and he has made a lot of progress in that time. He is effective as the No. 6 or the No. 8. Three months ago, you asked me why he was not playing more. I told you that through patience and hard work, he would earn a place in the starting XI.
"I do not look at just one match but his overall progress. He has shown that he can play in both positions. Looking back on games, it is difficult to say that he has done badly.
"For Sunday, we will see. Thiago [Motta] continues to make progress and Lassana [Diarra] is getting to know his teammates and our style of play better all the time. All three are ready to play."
Emery also said that Yuri Berchiche felt a twinge in his right thigh after training on Friday.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.