Verratti ban a blow for PSG - Henderson

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson feels the absence of PSG star Marco Verratti could be crucial in Tuesday's Champions League clash.

Marco Verratti was sent off in the second leg of PSG's last-16 clash against eventual champion Real Madrid last season.   -  AFP

Marco Verratti's suspension is a "big blow" for Paris Saint-Germain in its Champions League clash with Liverpool, according to Reds captain Jordan Henderson.

Italy international Verratti made his first league appearance since March in a Ligue 1 defeat of Saint-Etienne on Friday, setting up Julian Draxler for PSG's opening goal having recovered from a groin injury.

But Verratti is unavailable to Thomas Tuchel for Tuesday's trip to Anfield after he was sent off in PSG's last Champions League game, when it exited in the round of 16 to Real Madrid, with Henderson expecting the Ligue 1 giant to miss his fellow midfielder.

"If Verratti is missing tomorrow I'd say that's a big blow for PSG," Henderson said.

"Because I've played against him before and he's a very, very good player, a world-class player.

"So if they miss him tomorrow then that will be a big miss for them."

Neymar did not feature in the Saint-Etienne game and Henderson dismissed a suggestion the Brazilian's theatrics could be a factor in the match.

"It's not something that we really think about, to be honest. I think Neymar is a world-class player, he's a tough opponent so I'm sure it will be difficult for us as a team to stop him, but we're capable of stopping him and the rest of the team because we [have] proved that against top players before." Henderson said.

"He always gets kicked a lot so he needs to try and use it as best as he can. But for us we just need to treat it as a normal game, a big game for us, which we've proved against big teams before that we can perform and that we can get the result we need.

"And he's just one of many good players in the team, top players. And [we do] not just have to be focused on him, we've got to stop the whole team, which will be difficult, but we're a good team as well and we can certainly cause them problems."

Henderson is far from guaranteed to make Klopp's XI, having started only one match this season despite being club captain, with the England midfielder given a rest after the World Cup.

"I had a little bit of a break, the gaffer gave us a bit of time off," Henderson added. "Back later than everybody else really, so I've been trying to play catch up a little bit.

"But obviously coming on and played the Leicester game, played for England, so I feel as though I'm building up back to my normal self in trying to get that sharpness and that rhythm back. I suppose that only comes with playing games, so I'm looking forward to playing.

"I came back later than everyone else so I can't expect to come straight back in. I can see how fit they are and you're seeing that in their performances. It's normal for me that I'm not playing. I've just got to keep working hard and improving.

"I totally respect the players around me and the manager as well. He's always right. I've tried to use this period to refresh my body and refresh my mind. It was a long season and this one will be too."

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