Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Neymar not being primed for City clash, says Martino

Neymar not being primed for City clash, says Martino

Neymar not being primed for City clash, says Martino

The Barcelona boss says the Brazilian is in good shape as he approaches full fitness following an ankle injury, but says the club will not rush the 22-year-old back to action

Gerardo Martino says Neymar is not being primed for Barcelona's Champions League last-16 tie with Manchester City.

The Brazilian has been sidelined since spraining his ankle at Getafe in the Copa del Rey last month, but is back in training and has been named in the squad to face Real Sociedad in the Catalans' cup semi-final second leg at Anoeta on Wednesday night.

But Barca boss Martino claims there will be no risks taken with the club's summer signing.

"He took part in his second training session with the team, he felt no pain and physically he's looking good," Tata told reporters on Tuesday.

"We'll see about tomorrow and against Rayo [on Saturday]. And although it's a very important match, for me the Manchester City game will not determine Neymar's progress - it's about taking the smallest possible risk for the footballer."

Barca travel to City in the first leg of the sides' last-16 tie next Tuesday, before the two teams meet again at Camp Nou on March 12.

"We are playing a lot of minutes without really being consistent and that could be a problem against more complicated rivals," Martino said in relation to the City clash.

First priority for Barca, however, is to reach the Copa del Rey final, and they take a 2-0 lead to Anoeta for the second-leg match on Wednesday.

"The result [from the first leg] allows Real Sociedad the opportunity to come back," Martino said. "It's wide open, so we'll have to make sure we take control of the game early on, keep the ball and calm our rival." ---------------

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