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PSG drop Thiago Silva for Real Madrid clash, Isco starts ahead of Bale

14 February 2018 19:44

Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva has been dropped for the Champions League last-16 first leg with Real Madrid on Tuesday.

Head coach Unai Emery has made the shock decision to start youngster Presnel Kimpembe alongside Marquinhos at the heart of his defence, with Silva among the substitutes.

It was reported in France early on Tuesday that Silva, 33, had been left stunned by the decision, although he was also left on the bench for the 1-0 Ligue 1 win at Toulouse last Saturday.

Kimpembe partnered Marquinhos for the 4-0 first-leg win over Barcelona at this stage last season, while Silva was recalled for the return leg at Camp Nou, which PSG dramatically lost 6-1.

Adrien Rabiot starts at the centre of midfield, alongside Marco Verratti and Giovani Lo Celso, with Angelo Di Maria among the substitutes. Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe are in attack.

Madrid have made something of a surprise choice in their line-up, with Isco preferred to Gareth Bale, who starts on the bench.

It suggests a return to a midfield diamond for the holders, with a foursome of Casemiro, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Isco behind Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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