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Mbappe may play, says PSG coach Tuchel

Mbappe may play, says PSG coach Tuchel

DPA/AFP
Berlin
Winger Kylian Mbappe could feature for Paris Saint-Germain in Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final against Atalanta in Lisbon, coach Thomas Tuchel has suggested.
“If he trains well and nothing extraordinary happens he will be part of the team,” Tuchel told a virtual news conference on Tuesday.
The France star had suffered an ankle injury in the French cup final against St Etienne in mid-July and was initially expected to miss the Lisbon mini-tournament.
It remains however unclear whether he would start the game at the Estadio da Luz or come on as a substitute, if needed.
Should Mbappe not start that would put additional pressure on Neymar but Tuchel said the Brazilian star “is a player who likes big pressure and can handle it.” PSG have only played the cup final and the League Cup final a week later since March as the French league was first stopped and then abandoned because of the coronavirus.
“It is a very particular situation for us. It was very important to win the two finals,” Tuchel said.
Defender Marquinhos said they have prepared “in the best possible way” even though “the situation remains special.”
The team arrived in Lisbon earlier on Tuesday after several days of training on Portugal’s Algarve coast, and Tuchel warned it would take a big effort to beat the debutants Atalanta who have impressed at home and in Europe this season.
“Atalanta have a unique style. They press all over the pitch and attack. They are difficult to play. It will be a tactical match,”Tuchel said.
“Our players will have to work hard and suffer. We can win but it will be very difficult.”
Whether he starts or not, the announcement comes as a huge boost to the French champions as they aim to reach the semi-finals of Europe’s elite club competition.
Meanwhile, Tuchel refused to rule midfield maestro Marco Verratti out of the rest of the competition, should PSG go all the way. The final in Lisbon is scheduled for August 23 with the semi-final on August 18 if PSG qualify. Verratti is currently out with a calf injury.
“We must be patient with Marco,” said the German. “Last week he couldn’t run. He has just started again but it is going to be very tight for the semi-finals. But we will try everything like we have done with Kylian.”

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