The next three matches for Paris Saint-Germain will serve as an opportunity for manager Thomas Tuchel to see which lineup configuration he wants to deploy against Borussia Dortmund on March 11 with a place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League up for grabs.
The major questions that Tuchel must answer is who will play in the midfield and on defense against Dortmund? Marco Verratti and Thomas Meunier are suspended for the return leg and Thiago Silva, Ander Herrera, Colin Dagba, and Abdou Diallo are all injured.
On Saturday, PSG welcomes Dijon FCO to the Parc des Princes and I expect we’ll get a glimpse of who Tuchel will start against Dortmund once his lineup is released.
At his pre-match press conference, Tuchel was asked if 17-year-old Tanguy Kouassi could feature in the midfield against Dortmund after being left on the bench in the first leg.
“Yes, of course, he is. He is an option because he has the talent, quality, and personality. I have confidence in him and he’s obviously an option for us.”
“Between those two matches [Dijon and Dortmund], we play Lyon and Strasbourg and we can try and play without Marco. We might use this as an opportunity to try other players.”
Marquinhos played as a defender in the loss to Dortmund but it’s the midfield where Tuchel prefers to see the Brazil international play as he discussed at his press conference (via Culture PSG).
“I really like when Marqui plays in the middle of the pitch because he has the capacity and the energy to help cover the ground. When he plays in central defense, he is also super important and has a great influence, but, in the middle, it is for me even greater with his energy and his state of mind. That’s great. There are possibilities, like that of playing in place of Thiago [Silva] or leaving him in the middle. We have a few matches to try things out and we have to decide afterward.”
What that sounds like to me is that Tuchel would prefer Marquinhos play in the midfield but the injury to Silva may force him to play as a center-back alongside Presnel Kimpembe most likely.
If that’s the case, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will play in the midfield. As mentioned before, Kouassi is an option. Leandro Paredes didn’t even make the trip to Dortmund but he’s been relatively good form recently and could start. Idrissa Gueye didn’t have a great match against Dortmund but with few options, he could be given another opportunity.
A lot will be decided over the next few matches and it all culminates against Dortmund at the Parc des Princes in less than two weeks.
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