The matches are coming quick and fast for Paris Saint-Germain. Following a 6-0 win over ESA Linas-Montlhéry on Sunday night, Les Parisiens now turn their attention to AS Saint-Étienne for a Coupe de la Ligue quarter-finals match on Wednesday.
At his pre-match press conference, manager Thomas Tuchel revealed the players who will be left out of the squad as well as a few stars who will be making their return.
The same players who were left out of the squad on Sunday due to injury—Abdou Diallo, Thiago Silva, and Presnel Kimpembe—will continue to be out of the team for now. Tuchel was quick to say that the players are not seriously injured and will return soon.
Returning to the squad for the match on Wednesday will be Juan Bernat, Angel Di Maria, Mauro Icardi, Kylian Mbappé, Neymar Jr., and Marco Verratti. While the Coupe de la Ligue is not the highest priority for PSG, it is a trophy and the match will provide an opportunity for Tuchel to rotate his squad and give minutes to players who didn’t feature against Linas-Montlhéry. Here is what the German had to say about his potential squad as reported by Le Parisien.
“We have the possibility to change and give time to the guys who haven’t played against Linas. This gives us the opportunity to play with intensity. It is necessary to use every one. It’s a tough match against a balanced team. Faced with its compact 5-3-2, it is difficult to find opportunities. We did it well a few weeks ago [4-0 win on December 15]. We have to start again.”
Tuchel was then pressed about rotating the squad and if he’ll continue to do so leading up to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match against Borussia Dortmund on February 18.
“We try to give everyone minutes but it is not easy. You also need to be able to react to each match if the players are tired. We cannot say too soon that we will change at this or that match. Some games are more intensive, they are all different. Some players need to play every three days. You can also change after 60 or 70 minutes, it makes a big difference. We have to think. Against Saint-Étienne, we will change a lot and after that, we will think about each match. There is no point in thinking too far ahead because, with cardboard boxes, injuries, illnesses, you always have to choose.”
Tuchel is in a difficult position here. His stars want to play and they may need to in order to maintain optimum fitness. Playing in a 4-4-2 formation requires the players to be at an elite fitness level and they won’t stay that way if Tuchel keeps them on the bench until mid-February.
For now, all supporters can do is hope for no injuries and watch PSG’s Fantastic Four of Di Maria, Icardi, Mbappé, and Neymar score goals at will.
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