Paris Saint-Germain is the marquee club in France, meaning that more often than not, they’ll be playing in the 9 PM slot on Sundays.
When you consider additional late-night kick-offs during the week in either Ligue 1 or UEFA Champions League action, it’s clear that PSG’s schedule is taking a toll on the players.
During Tuesday’s pre-match press conference, via Le Parisien, PSG manager Thomas Tuchel pulled aside the curtain to reveal how the schedule is impacting the players.
The German began by expressing just how ridiculously busy PSG’s schedule is. In January alone, PSG plays a total of seven matches ranging from Ligue 1, Coupe de France, and Coupe de la Ligue. Of those seven matches, five of them are on the road.
PSG’s squad is relatively healthy for the first time all season, so it’s understandable that Tuchel would be upset over the fixture congestion and the late start times. It simply doesn’t give his team a whole lot of time to recover, which could lead to future injuries. It also doesn’t give them enough time to even sleep as Tuchel lamented during the press conference.
“It’s very difficult because it’s always an extra effort to play at 9 PM outside,” Tuchel said. “We come home very late, we sometimes go to bed at 3 AM, 4 AM, 5 AM…the players are dead! They don’t sleep. We have to manage the training schedules, let the players sleep so that they recover. We lose the rhythm.”
Another good point that Tuchel discussed in regards to matches that start at 9 PM is that it takes away from kids being able to stay up and watch the matches.
“I know classmates of my daughters at school who cannot watch these games,” Tuchel said.
The PSG manager is used to matches being played in the afternoon from his time coaching in the Bundesliga. This season in France though, PSG has played five games in the afternoon (starting at 5:30 PM) and 23 matches at 8:45 PM or 9 PM.
With a date with Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League on February 18, Tuchel will have to rotate his squad and select his teams carefully to ensure his best players are available for the most important matches of the season.
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