Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel may feel that the best position for Marquinhos is defensive midfield, however, against Borussia Dortmund next Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League, he may be forced to play him as a center-back.
Silva suffered a thigh injury against Girondins de Bordeaux on February 23 and the initial report was that he would likely miss the return leg against Dortmund. However, the Brazil international is close to recovering and is pushing to play next week in the most important match of the season.
“I am more optimistic because he [Silva] is not feeling any pain, so it is good timing for him,” Tuchel said at his pre-match press conference on Friday. “It was possible for him to play for 15 or 20 minutes, but at the same time, we can give intensity during training. It is the first training with the team today, so it would be too big of a risk. It is just training, so it will not be the more intense training because we played on Wednesday, and today, we will fly straight after training, so we will give more intensity tomorrow and on Sunday, but I am expecting him to be with us on Sunday and Monday, and then we will decide if he is fit or not.”
The decision to start Silva or not could be made as late as Wednesday morning, as Tuchel later said at the press conference, which is kind of terrifying if you think about it. Whether Silva plays or not has a direct impact on Marquinhos.
Due to the suspension of Marco Verratti and the injury to Ander Herrera, PSG needs Marquinhos to play in the midfield. If Silva isn’t fit enough to play the full 90 minutes though, Tuchel will be forced to play Marquinhos at center-back to avoid playing two left-footed center-backs (Presnel Kimpembe and Abdou Diallo). See how important that yellow card Verratti picked up in the first leg against Dortmund was?
“If he [Silva] plays, he has a great influence on Marquinhos’ position, but if he is not playing, we will find a solution,” Tuchel said.
The solution is simple albeit not ideal. Marquinhos will line up next to Kimpembe most likely on defense with Juan Bernat and Thilo Kehrer as the center-backs. In the midfield, Tuchel will likely go with Idrissa Gueye and Leandro Paredes. Tanguy Kouassi would be another option (and one that I prefer) but the fact that the 17-year-old didn’t play at all against Olympique Lyonnais this week is pretty telling.
Tuchel probably would prefer to have his full squad available but hopefully, he can welcome Dortmund to the Parc des Princes with a healthy and in-form Kylian Mbappé. The Frenchman has been so good lately that it might not matter what PSG does at the back because the game will be played on Dortmund’s end of the pitch.
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