Friday, April 19, 2019

Tuchel: Neymar and Mbappe fit to face Liverpool

SoccerNews in English Premier League 27 Nov 2018

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Thomas Tuchel has confirmed Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will return to Paris Saint-Germain’s starting line-up for the crucial Champions League clash with Liverpool on Wednesday.

The world’s two most expensive players sat out the victory over Toulouse on Saturday having picked up injuries during the international break, yet the duo both trained the day before Liverpool visit the Parc des Princes.

Speaking at a news conference after that session on Tuesday, Tuchel insisted the pair are ready to feature in a contest which could have a huge say in determining who qualifies from Group C.

“Neymar is 100 per cent and Mbappe as well. They are fit,” Tuchel said.

“They trained [Monday and Tuesday] and they will line up on [Wednesday].

“If they were not fit they could not play but they’ve not complained at all [this week]. For me, right now there’s no risk.”

PSG, who lost the reverse fixture at Anfield 3-2 after Roberto Firmino scored a late winner, are one point behind Liverpool and would be unable to progress to the last 16 if they lose again and group leaders Napoli are victorious against Red Star Belgrade.

Jurgen Klopp’s side, who were runners-up last season, know they would advance if they win and Red Star do not beat Napoli.

For all PSG’s domestic dominance – they are 15 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 having won all 14 games – they have failed to make it past the last eight of the Champions League in each of the previous six seasons.

“I think there are still big, big steps for us to go and we have to make a big, big step [against Liverpool],” added Tuchel.

“If you stress this word ‘team’, you end up at Liverpool. They play really as a team in every single game and the big, big influence of Jurgen, you can see this.

“They have three and a half years together creating this mentality and of course this is an advantage.

“Liverpool are used to Champions League finals, winning this trophy.

“We have to step up and grow with this kind of competitive energy in crucial moments.”

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