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Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane refuses to reveal if his side will man-mark Neymar during European clash

  • Real Madrid host PSG in first leg of Champions League last 16 tie on Wednesday
  • Zinedine Zidane would not reveal his tactical approach ahead of upcoming clash
  • Frenchman insists the focus should not just be on Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo 

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane refused to rule out deploying a player to man-mark Neymar ahead of his team's Champions League last-16 first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

Asked if he would replicate a tactic used against Lionel Messi in the Clasico last December, Zidane said: 'I don't think I should tell you. We will see tomorrow.' 

Pressed on the threat posed by Neymar and how he currently matches up to Ronaldo, Zidane defended his talisman saying: 'Ronaldo has won five Ballon d'Or awards and I am not going to compare them at this moment. Everything that Neymar does on the pitch is of great quality and he can make the difference but they are two great players and this is Real Madrid v PSG not Neymar v Cristiano.' 

Zinedine Zidane would not be drawn on whether Real Madrid will man-mark PSG's Neymar

Zinedine Zidane would not be drawn on whether Real Madrid will man-mark PSG's Neymar

Gareth Bale is expected to start for Real Madrid after recovering from injury problems

Gareth Bale is expected to start for Real Madrid after recovering from injury problems

PROBABLE LINE-UPS 

REAL MADRID XI: Navas Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo Modric, Casemiro, Kroos Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo 

PSG XI: Areola Alves, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa Veratti, Diarra, Rabiot Mbappe, Cavani, Neymar 

Gareth Bale is expected to start the game for Real Madrid and Zidane was quizzed on why the Welshman is yet to play a full 90 minutes since coming back from injury. 

The French coach said: 'There is no concrete reason for it. It's normal that the forwards get taken off. Towards the end of games.' 

Asked about the pressure of a game that will decide the fate of Madrid's season and his own future as Real Madrid coach, Zidane added: 'We don't have any added pressure. We live for this. The players live for this. The people want to see a great game.

'I am not thinking about my future. I'm concentrating on this game. I am focusing on making sure we do well in this game.

'This is not a final. We have to play good football. If you play good football with the players that we have then we have a good chance.'

ABOUT THE AUTHOR celebrityrave

Journalist, writer and broadcaster, based in London and Paris, her latest book is Touché: A French Woman's Take on the English. Read more articles from Agnes.

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