Ligue 1: Ben Arfa denied Nice return as Emery selects PSG's 'best'

Nice fans will not see Hatem Ben Arfa grace the Allianz Riviera again after Unai Emery opted against picking him for PSG's trip south.

Hatem Ben Arfa will not be given the chance to feature against his former team Nice when Paris Saint-Germain travel to the Allianz Riviera on Sunday, with coach Unai Emery saying he has only selected "the best".

The 30-year-old attacking midfielder has endured a difficult first season at the Parc des Princes, his failure to impress Emery and a number of injury problems limiting him to just 10 starts in all competitions.

Ben Arfa, who has been outspoken about his lack of football on social media, has not featured since April 9 due to a virus, with the Spanish coach overlooking him for a match with Nice that could have huge ramifications on the Ligue 1 title race.

"There will be a group of 19 players without Javier Pastore or Layvin Kurzawa. [Grzegorz] Krychowiak and Ben Arfa will not be there either," Emery told his pre-match news conference.

"He is back from injury and I am just thinking about taking the best. I am not thinking about anything other than the game [on Sunday]."

PSG sit level on points with Ligue 1 leaders Monaco, who have a game in hand against Saint-Etienne scheduled for May 17, with Nice six points back.

Emery acknowledges the reigning champions have to focus on themselves in the closing weeks, with Leonardo Jardim's side in control of who will top the table as things stand.

"It will be a great match against a team that has had a great season. We are six points ahead but they are unbeaten at home and have only lost two games in Ligue 1," said Emery.

"It is a challenge for us. The stadium will be full. We have prepared for the match well, the players are aware of the importance of the match.

"We need victory. I have confidence in my team and if they give everything, I will be content.

"I am optimistic for my team, but Monaco are first. We have to think about doing our job. Monaco play Toulouse today [Saturday] and it's not in our hands.

"Winning the title is more difficult for Nice, but they can finish second. This is why it's important for us to win, to widen the gap definitively."

Thiago Motta's future remains uncertain with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.

Reports have suggested the veteran midfielder will agree a one-year extension, and Emery backed him to continue playing an important role at PSG.

"He is an important player for the group. He has experience, he gives confidence to others on the pitch," he said.

"I have given the club my opinion on the subject. He has had some injuries but he is a first-team regular.

"When he is ready and in shape he is a player who improves the team. He can continue."

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