Unless there’s a miracle in lawn care over the next 24 hours, Paris Saint-Germain will be playing on a pitch with pockets of green sand. I wish I was making this up.
Manager Thomas Tuchel will lead his squad against Pau FC in the Coupe de France on Wednesday with an opportunity to reach the quarter-finals on the line.
Pau, a team in the third division of French football, already claimed one Ligue 1 scalp in Girondins de Bordeaux and will be looking to get a memorable win over the reigning French champions on their dodgy pitch at the 18,000-seat Stade du Hameau.
According to France Bleu, the pitch at the stadium is severely damaged to the point where green sand is being added to the most affected areas.
Aux petits soins pour la pelouse du Stade du Hameau à Pau, avant la venue du PSG
— France Bleu Béarn (@Bleu_Bearn) January 27, 2020
In addition to the sand, the pitch was covered on Monday to keep it from turning into a mud pit in the rain. There is one more additional mowing expected before kickoff but I’m not sure what good that is going to do at this point when you have already resorted to green sand.
I’m all for the magic of the cup and seeing PSG play against these smaller clubs, however, the player’s health is a real concern here.
Even if there is a slight improvement to the pitch, Tuchel absolutely cannot start Kylian Mbappé, Neymar Jr., Mauro Icardi, Angel Di Maria, Marco Verratti, or his other stars. This should be a completely rotated side with players like Adil Aouchiche, Tanguy Kouassi, and Loïc Mbe Soh getting a chance to show what they can do in difficult conditions.
The kids should be able to get the job done in the sand.
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