Manchester United vs PSG Champions League: Neymar absence ‘is a problem’ against Red Devils says Buffon – Goal.com

Neymar’s absence against Manchester United is going to a problem for Paris Saint-Germain, according to goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

The star attacker went down in January against Strasbourg, suffering a broken foot – the same injury which sidelined him for most of the second half of last season.

His return date remains a question, but he will not feature for the Ligue 1 champions against the Red Devils when the sides face off in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

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Neymar will not be alone in his absence, as Edinson Cavani will also miss out after suffering a muscle injury Saturday while Marco Verratti may also be absent.

But the Brazilian’s injury is something Buffon has singled out as an issue for the capital club as they look snap a two-year streak of failing to get past the round of 16, this time facing a United side that have won 10 of 11 contests since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho as manager.

“I think this is a problem for us,” Buffon told CNN.

“I’m not sure if it’s a big problem or a little one. I hope it’s only a small problem and that we are nevertheless a team that can thrive without him. It would give us great strength and confidence.

“But I must say that without a player of Ney’s caliber, it’s going to be heavy going, particularly because in the last two or three months he’s been in excellent condition both physically and mentally and would have been of enormous help.”

However, Buffon is hoping the team can rally and get past this hurdle in order to make it to the Champions League quarter-finals – something they were unable to do without Neymar in the second leg against Real Madrid last season.

The goalkeeper thinks it would be a gift to the star man to make it to the next round of the competition, and believes Neymar would make certain to get fit in time to feature in those latter stage contests.

“But nevertheless we have to do our best in order not to have any regrets and play the quarter-finals and semi-finals with Ney back.

“This would be the best present we could give to him, and I’m sure he would return the favour by playing in those two matches.”