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Sports

PSG's Meunier deemed fit to play against Dijon

media Thomas Meunier was injured during PSG's top flight fixture against Bordeaux on 9 February. AFP/Anne-Christine Poujoulat

Paris Saint-Germain's quest for a fifth consecutive Coupe de France received a boost on Monday when key defender Thomas Meunier was passed fit to play in Tuesday's quarter-final against Dijon.

The 27-year-old Belgium international has been on the sidelines with 222 million euro striker Neymar since suffering a concussion during the Ligue 1 game against Bordeaux on 9 February.

He missed the Uefa Champions League first leg last 16 game against Manchester United on 12 February as well as the top flight fixtures against Saint-Etienne on 17 February and Nimes on 23 February.

"The doctors say that Thomas will be fine for Dijon," said PSG boss Thomas Tuchel who hinted that striker Edinson Cavani could be available for the game against Caen on 2 March.

"Edinson will get back to training and could be ready for Saturday. He's discussing it with the doctors but he's worked really hard to get into the reckoning. He's a model professional."

PSG's juggernaut has not faltered in the absence of the Uruguay international who injured his thigh in the same match as Meunier.

Inspired by Angel di Maria and Kylian Mbappé, PSG beat Manchester United 2-0 at Old Trafford and have racked up a 17 point lead over second placed Lille in Ligue 1.

While PSG boast 68 points after 25 games, Dijon have mustered only 20. The Burgundians lie in the relegation zone four points from the haven of 17th place.

However, despite the distance, Tuchel said he would warn his players not to be complacent.

"Dijon are going through a difficult phase in the championship," added the German. "But the Coupe de France might be chance for them to show their ability.

"They'll be able to play more freely in the cup and because it's a one-off, they'll have nothing to lose.

"For that reason we have to stay really focused and take them seriously if we want to get into the semi-final."

With their fifth French Ligue 1 title in six years virtually wrapped up, Tuchel added: "The Coupe de France is an important competition for me, the team, the club hierarchy and the supporters. It will be a challenge to win it."

 

 

 

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