After a fortnight of international truce, during which Kylian Mbappé notably found competition with the France team, PSG is back on the way to Ligue 1 this Friday in Monaco (9 p.m.). The opportunity for Thomas Tuchel to clarify, this Thursday at a press conference, what he expects from the meeting on the French Riviera scheduled four days before the decisive match against Leipzig in the Champions League. And to mention this trip that he will have to make again with a plethora of packages since Marco Verratti, Icardi, Gueye, Draxler, Kehrer and Bernat will not be on the trip while hope remains for Kean and Neymar.
Are you confident about Neymar and Mbappé’s participation for the Monaco match?
THOMAS TUCHEL. I’m glad Deschamps was reliable and only got him to play for 30 minutes. We had good communication with the France team, we know exactly what he did there. It was great. He had a good training with us yesterday (Wednesday). I’m confident he’ll play tomorrow (Friday), we just have to decide on the number of minutes. For Neymar, it’s different, he hasn’t played with Brazil. He has been with us for a few days. Yesterday (Wednesday) he started training but didn’t take part in the whole session like Kylian. We want to accelerate today (this Thursday). I am confident he can play for a few minutes on Friday but we have to wait for his reaction before deciding.
Before the two important matches in Monaco and against Leipzig, are you more worried about the lack of freshness of your internationals or the lack of rhythm that the players returning from injury may display?
I worry more about those who have played a lot for the national team. It is a great risk to multiply the trips, the matches, knowing that in addition, some have had the coronavirus. This is less the case for those who have stayed here. We were able to give them the necessary amount of play and help them feel calmer. Marquinhos, Paredes, Di Maria and Florenzi, just return today (this Thursday). You have to be careful and smart about how to manage their playing time.
With all the injuries that you deplore, are the meetings facing Monaco and Leipzig the first delicate passage for PSG?
Yes, it’s no secret, it’s delicate, super important. We know that a difficult match awaits us in Monaco. This team has a lot of qualities, it is one of the most difficult opponents in France. And we know that we are in a difficult situation against Leipzig. We have to win tomorrow (Friday) and at the same time manage everyone’s playing time to have the freshest team possible on Tuesday night.
Do you think that PSG enjoy the same respect as other big European clubs from the national teams?
I prefer not to answer, it is a question for Leonardo, it is the director who manages this link between the club and the selections. But we saw with Italy, which accepted that Kean return home, that Ney do the same with the Brazilian selection or with the example of Kylian, that we had good contacts with a lot of respect with the selections.
Is it dangerous to play players who have crossed the Atlantic, like Paredes, Di Maria, Marquinhos or played on Wednesday like Florenzi?
Yes, it is a very big risk to make them play. Especially since we are still playing at 9 pm, we will still have a very late return, we will still lack sleep… It’s a little different for Di Maria, who played less than Paredes. We have to test with the doctors and talk to see if we can give them a few minutes of play. For Paredes and Marqui, it is a big risk. Florenzi played on Wednesday, traveled, came home late. These are key points for the recovery in prospect for Tuesday … Usually, I take game by game. But here I have to work in pairs.
Do you hope you can count on Icardi and Verratti against Leipzig?
Maybe yes. But they won’t be there tomorrow. We will try everything, but if they are there it will be great. We will do everything for because they have an influence in the locker room and on the bench. If they can come in for a few minutes… But we can’t expect too much of them, since it would be the first time they would be there. They have done some training, Marco is going to cut a bit, he needs a rest. Mauro will continue, maybe even during the weekend and will help us, I hope, against Leipzig.
Do you think you will give more playing time to youngsters like Ruiz and Fadiga?
Young people must prepare for this challenge, because it is one for them. We always expect Paris to come out with a great match. Opposite the opponents are always thoroughly. It is always demanding to be a young person with us. We will give them time if necessary. Monaco and Leipzig are matches of a very high level, after it will be a final in Manchester and before there will be Bordeaux… we will have to manage all these matches.
Do you feel more reassured by Leonardo’s words last week during the live organized by the club?
It’s always good if the sports director is alongside the coach. But we always work in the same way, always close, we give everything every day. It’s always the coach who is responsible, that’s life. But that’s not a problem.
Niko Kovac, the Monaco coach, said that you are a good coach. How do you feel with this kind of support?
It would have been a big surprise for me if he said that I was a bad trainer (laughs). We know each other well, we clashed often… He is also a very strong, very courageous coach, with a clear plan on the pitch. It is always difficult to face it. He is also a very nice guy. It is normal that we protect ourselves against criticism. It’s very kind of him, but I do not forget that he will do everything to make it difficult for me tomorrow. His team is very disciplined and physical on the pitch. Its collaboration is very interesting with Monaco. It’s a big competition for us, but it will allow us to grow too.
How did you welcome the fact that Kylian Mbappé played 30 minutes with the Blues?
It’s good news. We had good communication with Mr. Deschamps and the physical trainers. It’s the best thing for Kylian to have been able to play for a few minutes. Now it’s up to us to continue in a smart way by giving him a few minutes tomorrow (Friday) to continue his physical progress.
In the absence of Kean and Icardi, who do you plan to play in pointe ?
Icardi will be absent, but for Moise, we have to wait for training… I have the impression that he can be there with us.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr