From Lisbon to Leipzig, from Luz stadium to Red Bull Arena, from a semi-final to a Champions League group match, a hyphen: the Covid-19. The deadly epidemic ravaging the world will continue to impose its anxiety-producing panorama made of closed doors, barrier gestures and PCR tests on this RB Leipzig – PSG. For the rest, and beyond the victory injunction made to each of the two teams, the situation has changed a lot, especially for the Parisians.
Between the match mastered from start to finish (3-0) of the Final 8 in Portugal on August 18 and that of this Wednesday evening in the third place of the Bundesliga, the partners of Marquinhos suffer a massacre of injuries which radically changes the picture. No less than five players starting in Lisbon last August are withdrawn, in the recovery phase like Paredes or have left the club like Thiago Silva.
These five are sure not to start this Wednesday, and among them are the two headliners Neymar and Mbappé, respectively affected in the adductors and the thigh. The latter two did not even make the trip to Leipzig. “It’s a totally different game, warns Thomas Tuchel. If you compare the two eleven holders, how can you expect the same meeting? In Portugal, we controlled the pace and had a very strong game. This time, Leipzig, at home, will defend higher and play more free. On our side, we lack players like Bernat, Paredes, Verratti or Neymar who can bring out the balls under pressure. It may be necessary to accept to go through a more direct game. “
“We will not seek to rely on a key player but on eleven key players”
The capital club will therefore lack creative force and efficiency with the absence of Mbappé, current top scorer of the team with 7 goals. Even if in the past, Paris has already known how to do without its two stars or without its headliners against Bayern Munich or Manchester United. And the news is no more reassuring on the sidelines. Icardi and Verratti who were a remedy in Portugal, are not even in the Paris group this time.
Thomas Tuchel, back on his land, will work with the means at hand and with those he has imagined. Marquinhos should once again be aligned in midfield and Danilo Pereira in central defense, in a funny game of hat that does not fail to surprise even within its workforce.
“We will have to proceed as a team with the efforts and the mentality that go with it,” Tuchel analyzes. We will not seek to rely on a key player but on eleven key players. “Everything that PSG missed during its last major meetings with three defeats at the summits against Bayern Munich (1-0), OM (0-1) and Manchester United (1-2) .
This trip to Germany, facing an opponent who comes out of a sloppy week punctuated by two losses against MU (0-5) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (0-1), is an opportunity to repair these shortcomings. And incidentally keep a chance to glean first place in the group where Manchester United has comfortably settled.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr