Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel admits Atalanta ‘have an advantage and that is their pace’ after needing penalties to break down Lyon in the Coupe de la Ligue Final.
This was only their second competitive match since the lockdown in early March, after a 1-0 win over 10-man Saint-Etienne last week, and another sluggish performance.
If Atalanta had been watching this game, they would have seen little to be worried about going into the Champions League quarter-final on August 12.
“It’s true that Atalanta have an advantage and that is their pace and match fitness,” said Tuchel in his press conference.
“We only played two games, both finals. Atalanta do have a very particular playing style and they are very strong. We have 12 days to prepare and I have not studied them yet, as I’ve been preparing for Saint-Etienne and then Lyon.”
Kylian Mbappé was spotted without his crutches at the stadium, but remains a major doubt to feature against Atalanta after spraining his ankle last week.
Mauro Icardi, Layvin Kurzawa and Thiago Silva all limped off during the 0-0 Lyon draw, seen with ice strapped to their thighs on the bench.
“Marquinhos and Thiago Silva just had cramp, whereas Kurzawa might have a little injury,” added Tuchel.
“Gana Gueye is an important player for us, but he’s not moving with confidence at the moment and I think he’ll be ready to play against Atalanta. We brought in Ander Herrera with Lyon because he is accustomed to the pressure of finals.
“Without Kylian, we lack that change of pace when attacking, so have to find other solutions. We scored one goal in 210 minutes of football, but a lot of it is luck. When there’s 99 per cent positive, you always seem to want 100 per cent. People act as if four trophies are easy, but they really aren’t.”