If PSG reached the final of the last Champions League, they must also remember that the 2019-2020 European campaign started with one of its greatest successes. At the Parc des Princes, one evening of September 18, Paris outclassed Real Madrid (3-0) thanks to a model collective service that Thomas Tuchel takes as an example in many of his media outings. But the most striking with this victory is that it took place without the two stars of the Parisian club: Neymar and Kylian Mbappé.
It is also the one and only time since their arrival in 2017 that the two men have missed a Champions League meeting at the same time. The Brazilian is suspended and the Frenchman is slowly recovering from an injury to his left thigh. This Wednesday evening against RB Leipzig, Ney and KMB will be absent for the second time in their joint career in C1, both injured. The opportunity to return to this success acquired against Real on the basis of other qualities than the dribbling of one or the acceleration of the other.
Let us return to the composition aligned by Tuchel. As today to face Leipzig, the German suffers a cascade of injuries. “It was difficult to find 16 players,” he said after the meeting. To replace Neymar and Mbappé (as well as Cavani), the attacking trio is occupied by Pablo Sarabia, Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria. An offensive line similar to what we will see in Leipzig this Wednesday with the same Sarabia and Di Maria as well as Moise Kean. In the absence of the two stars, the Argentine left-hander has often tended to transcend himself, like the double slammed that night against Real, his former club. It will still be expected in Germany.
Gueye, the key to the match
But faced with the training of Zinedine Zidane, a man particularly shines in midfield: Idrissa Gueye, recruited a few weeks earlier. “It’s a machine. He never stops running, recovering the ball, ”said Tuchel in the post-match conference. Against Red Bull, the Senegalese should start alongside Marquinhos and Ander Herrera in the middle. The Spaniard will try to replace at best Marco Verratti, also injured, who had an important role during this famous 3-0.
So men change a bit. Training (4-3-3), no. What about the keys to the game? Permanent pressure, quick balls exits, efficiency in front of goal… Exactly the points worked on in training by PSG since Monday. Without Neymar and Mbappé, Tuchel announced on Tuesday that his players should “agree to play in another way, perhaps more direct”. Against Real Madrid, the technician was pleased with an attitude “perfect, a team spirit and a compact game”.
In September, he recalled in a press conference that this match had shown everyone the essential need for a strong group: “Against Real Madrid, we didn’t have Mbappé, Neymar or Cavani? We played with Icardi, Di Maria, Sarabia and we won 3-0. Because we had a very strong team on and off the pitch. It’s proof that with a group like that, you can create something special and have an extraordinary season. “PSG can prove to us this Wednesday evening its ability to repeat such a performance.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr