Monday, May 29, 2017

International debuts for Mbappe and co give PSG the edge, says Jardim

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 31 Mar 2017

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Leonardo Jardim believes Paris Saint-Germain could have a slight edge in the Coupe de la Ligue final as a number of his Monaco players return from their first international call-ups.

With Monaco enjoying a fine season, a contingent of their young stars were selected for international duty last week and Benjamin Mendy, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Kylian Mbappe were all involved for France for the first time.

And Jardim is fearful that these new experiences could have a negative impact on his side against PSG.

“A final is always balanced, there is no favourite,” he told a pre-match news conference ahead of Saturday’s clash. “Of course, PSG have the experience, because they have won the last three editions [of the competition].

“They also have a small advantage with the international break, because we saw many players leave. And for three or four of them, it was the first time even.

“The break may therefore affect our dynamics a bit more than that of the PSG, who have experienced players accustomed to playing for their national teams.”

Monaco have injury concerns heading into the final, too, with Djibril Sidibe pulling out of the France squad and top-scorer Radamel Falcao also struggling.

“If the match took place [on Friday], neither would be able to play,” Jardim added. “We will wait to see the situation [on Saturday].”

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