Thiago Silva is reported to be out of Unai Emery’s Paris Saint-Germain squad on Wednesday night to play reigning European champions Real Madrid, who themselves are set to drop Gareth Bale to the bench at the Bernabeu.
The two clubs face off in the Champions League round of 16, and while most of the world will be seeing this game as Neymar vs Cristiano Ronaldo, reports have emerged during the afternoon from various sources claiming to have an insight into how the teams will start the game. There’s a couple of decisions that will surprise a few ahead of the official announcements.
Breaking | Huge shock coming out of the PSG camp: manager Unai Emery has decided to drop captain Thiago Silva for young French defender Presnel Kimpembe to face Real Madrid tonight. (L’Équipe)
— Get French Football (@GFFN) February 14, 2018
According to Get French Football, PSG captain Silva is set to be dropped ahead of the tie – the Brazilian instead being replaced by Presnel Kimpembe, with Marquinhos taking up the captain’s armband.
Interestingly, it was this defensive partnership that oversaw the 4-0 dismantling of Barcelona around this time last year – with the incredible Blaugrana resurgence coming with Silva in the starting line-up two weeks later. Understandably, the PSG centre-half is said to be shocked that he’s been dropped.
As for Real Madrid, it seems as though their starting eleven won’t differ too much from what was expected. The club’s highest appearing player under Zinedine Zidane, Isco, will start – with Bale on the bench, and Nacho Fernandez looks set to begin at right back.
The reported team sheet goes as follows: Keylor Navas, Nacho, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Isco, Karim Benzema and Ronaldo.