PSG coach Thomas Tuchel ‘trusts’ Neymar will deliver in ‘the big matches’ but has stressed the importance of a good performance from former Inter forward Mauro Icardi on Wednesday.
Paris Saint-Germain will face Atalanta in the quarter-finals but will have Kylian Mbappe on the bench, as he is still recovering from an ankle injury, and lost former Napoli man Edinson Cavani when his deal expired earlier this summer.
Tuchel thinks this could be Icardi’s moment to shine and send Les Parisiens through to the semi-finals of the competition.
“With the injury to Kylian [Mbappe] and the absence of Edi Cavani, it’s very important he [Icardi] plays well, that he shows his personality,” Tuchel said at a press conference.
“For me he’s a boy who’s never afraid, who always scores, who you can trust tactically, defensively. It’s a moment for him to show he’s capable of putting us in the semi-finals.”
Brazilian superstar Neymar is ready to play in Lisbon tomorrow, and Tuchel thinks he enjoys the attention and pressure he’s always under.
“I have the impression there’s always a lot of pressure on Neymar. You can’t imagine the pressure that’s on Ney,” the coach added. “But he’s a lad who likes that, who’s used to playing with that pressure.
“We’re glad he has the possibility of finishing the match with Kylian, as they like playing together a lot.
“He likes the big matches and he likes the decisive matches. He’s a player you can trust in the big games. I’m absolutely convinced he will put on a big performance and that he holds the keys for us, he has the mentality for situations like this.”