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Football | France

PSG look forward to Motta return



Paris St Germain visit Nice on Saturday again without midfielder Thiago Motta, a key player who coach Carlo Ancelotti says has been badly missed by the Ligue 1 titlechasers.

The Italian coach has bemoaned the 30-year-old's absence at every pre-game news conference for weeks and said last week the squad was lacking "character and personality".

On Friday, he once again emphasised Motta's importance in his squad.

"Thiago Motta has had a lot of problems since the season started," Ancelotti said about the Italy international, who has only played four league games so far this term.

"We miss him because he is an important player. Hopefully, he will be ready for (next weekend's) Evian TG game."

Brazil-born Thiago Motta made his name at Barcelona before injuries hit his career. He rediscovered his verve in Italy and shone at Inter Milan with his neat flicks and effortless style.

PSG, second on 26 points and two behind leaders Olympique Lyon, will also be without injured forward Kevin Gameiro on Saturday while Italy midfielder Marco Verratti has been left out of the squad.

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