News Live Scores
UEFA Champions League

Explained: Why Neymar, Mbappe & Ramos aren't playing in PSG vs Real Madrid

19:55 GMT+4 18/09/2019
Neymar PSG Paris Saint-Germain 2019-20
Both Thomas Tuchel and Zinedine Zidane are facing selection headaches, with key members of both their squads unable to play on Wednesday

Paris Saint-Germain will get their Champions League campaign underway when they host Real Madrid on Wednesday evening, but they will be without their entire front-three attacking trio of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.

The French champions are currently going an injury and suspension crisis, with their whole first-choice strike force all set to miss out on the visit of Zinedine Zidane's side.

"Everybody knows we miss a few strikers but I trust the players I have for this game," said PSG coach Thomas Tuchel.

Brazil international Neymar only returned to full PSG action this past weekend following a long injury lay-off, though was still the subject of mocking chants by PSG Ultras even after he scored the winning goal.

He will be unavailable for selection against Real Madrid, however, as he is still serving European a ban from last season  for the comments he made on social media about the refereeing during their last-16 elimination to Manchester United.

Officials awarded the Red Devils a stoppage-time penalty at the Parc de Princes after a VAR review determined that a Diogo Dalot shot hit the arm of Presnel Kimpembe.

Marcus Rashford scored from the spot to even the tie at 3-3, sending United through on away goals. 

Neymar didn't hold back from his frustrations,  writing on his Stories : "That is a disgrace! And UEFA still pick four guys who know nothing about football to review the VAR decision in slow motion... that handball simply doesn't exist!

"How do you handball behind your back? Ahh.. go f*ck yourselves."

He was initially given a three-match suspension for his comments, but it has since been reduced to two . As such, he is suspended for the visit of Los Blancos at the Parc des Princes, as well as the visit to Galatasaray on October 1.

Mbappe, meanwhile, is also unable to feature after picking up a hamstring injury in a 4-0 victory against Toulouse at the end of August. He did train individually last week, though he has been deemed unfit to face Real Madrid and will sit the game out.

Cavani remains injured as well, recovering from a hip issue that he also sustained during the win against Toulouse, which forced him off the pitch after 13 minutes.

New Inter loan arrival Mauro Icardi, then, is expected to be selected by Tuchel to fill in at the front for the missing trio, though questions remain about his match-fitness.

Ex-Stoke striker Eric Choupo-Moting is also an attacking option.

Which Real Madrid players will be absent vs PSG?

PSG are not alone in their injury woes, as Zidane is also facing significant squad absences.

Though Eden Hazard, James Rodriguez and Brahim Diaz have all been given the green light fitness-wise, Zidane's main issues lie in having to select his strongest defence.

Sergio Ramos is still serving a two-match suspensio n after picking up a deliberate yellow card in last season's last-16 clash with Ajax and will not feature, while Nacho is also serving a ban.

Ramos  suggested in an interview that he had been booked deliberately in order to avoid the risk of a suspension in the quarter-finals , but it backfired spectacularly as not only did he receive an additional ban, Real Madrid also crashed out of Europe at the hands of the Dutch champions.

That leaves Zidane with Eder Militao and Raphael Varane as his defensive options.

Elsewhere Luka Modric, Marcelo, Isco, Marco Asensio and Federico Valverde are all also missing through injury as Zidane aims to kickstart a fourth successful European campaign as a coach.