Thomas Tuchel Suggests Neymar, Kylian Mbappe Will Be Fit for Liverpool UCL ClashNovember 23, 2018
Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel has predicted star forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will be fit to face Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday despite their injury concerns.
Liverpool and Napoli are one point ahead of PSG in Group C with only two matches remaining, and Tuchel told the media on Friday that he felt the pair would be back for the visit of the Reds to the Parc des Princes, per ESPN FC's Jonathan Johnson:
Both players picked up knocks during the international break. Neymar strained his groin in a friendly against Cameroon, while Mbappe suffered a contusion of the shoulder against Uruguay.
PSG's 3-2 loss at Anfield in September is their only competitive defeat since Tuchel took over in the summer, and a fit duo of Neymar and Mbappe would greatly improve their chances of avenging that loss.
Mbappe was withdrawn after 30 minutes of France's 1-0 friendly win over Uruguay after he landed awkwardly on his shoulder following a clash with goalkeeper Martin Campana, via Sky Sports:
PSG are unbeaten in their 11 matches since falling to Jurgen Klopp's side in England, and they host Toulouse on Saturday hoping to continue their fine run in preparation for Liverpool.
However, Tuchel suggested neither player is likely to feature in their upcoming league fixture:
Defeat on Wednesday would spell the end of PSG's Champions League quest under Tuchel if Napoli also beat Red Star Belgrade in their penultimate pool game.
Les Parisiens only briefly sat level with Liverpool at Anfield two months ago, and it was a late Mbappe strike that held them on equal terms shortly before Roberto Firmino bagged a dramatic, last-minute winner.
Mbappe doesn't turn 20 until next month, but he is already so essential to PSG. His partnership with Neymar, in particular, has started to blossom in the capital, as shown by Statman Dave:
The Reds will undoubtedly fancy their chances more so against a PSG side sans Neymar or Mbappe rather than at full strength.
Tuchel has a talented crop of alternative attackers who could otherwise look to help striker Edinson Cavani, such as Angel Di Maria and Julian Draxler, though there's a noticeable gulf in prestige between the options.
PSG are at a make-or-break moment in their campaign already and risk tumbling out of Europe's elite competition without their key men.