Tuchel Explains Why He Didn’t Start the Fantastic Four Against Dortmund

Just before kickoff, Thomas Tuchel was asked about his starting lineup and why he decided to not start the Fantastic Four of Angel Di Maria, Mauro Icardi, Kylian Mbappé, and Neymar Jr.

“Now was not the time to try and go all-in,” Tuchel said to RMC Sport.

“Perhaps it was not the time to try. Honestly, we lack a bit of rhythm….It’s possible to play in 4-4-2, but if you want to play that way, you have to be at your best because there are a lot of things to watch out for. It is very intense, 4-4-2.”

The Four players in question haven’t played together for quite a while. Neymar has missed the last four matches due to a rib injury and Mbappé was rested last Saturday against Amiens SC. Icardi has been healthy but his form has dipped compared to the start of the season. Along with Mbappé, Di Maria is probably the healthiest and most in-form of the group.

However, against an attack-minded team like Dortmund, Tuchel cannot afford to put players out there who lack rhythm and are potentially not at 100 percent and expect them to track back for 90 minutes in a high-intensity match. The decision to go with a traditional 4-3-3, or 3-4-3 formation (Tuchel refused to say which formation), makes sense.

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Tags Angel Di Maria Borussia Dortmund Champions League Kylian Mbappé Mauro Icardi Thomas Tuchel
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