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Troyes grit: PSG pump up for visit of Madrid after routine victory

Angel di Maria is likely to replace injured striker Neymar in the PSG side to face Real Madrid in the second leg of their last 16 Uefa Champions League tie. Reuters/Vincent Kessler

PSG stars were in bullish mood on Saturday claiming that the absence of injured star striker Neymar would not scupper their chances of overturning a 3-1 deficit in their Uefa Champions League last 16 second leg clash against Real Madrid on Tuesday night.

Speaking after the Ligue 1 pacestters beat Troyes 2-0 to go 14 points clear, defender Thomas Meunier said. “Not having Neymar won’t make any difference. We have no excuses not to win."

Angel di Maria bagged a brace on 28 February in the 3-0 French Cup defeat of Marseille at the Parc des Princes and the Argentina international has proved a more than able deputy when he has played in place of Neymar.

He scored the opener on Saturday against Troyes early in the second half. Christopher Nkunku sealed the points 13 minutes from time.

"Di Maria is in a good run of form," Meunier added. "And there are others who bring a lot to the team like Julian Draxler. There is quality throughout the squad. We’ve shown it many times this season.”

The Belgian added: “We will be playing Madrid at home in front of our supporters. That will be something too."

PSG's veteran midfield Thiago Motta added: “The team is the key. It will be an important match against Real Madrid and the team that goes out to face them will be the best for the job.

“We’re going up against one of the greatest clubs in history and we’ve got to come back. But we’ve got the players to do that."