Tuesday August 11 2020
Tuchel: 'PSG prepared for huge challenge'

Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel feels his players have ‘prepared in the best fashion’ for the big game against Atalanta on Wednesday and reveals he could have Kylian Mbappe in the squad.

PSG had to turn around a 2-1 defeat to Tuchel’s former club Borussia Dortmund in the last 16, but the German coach thinks they are facing another ‘huge challenge’ against Atalanta at the Estadio da Luz tomorrow.

“It’s hard to play against Atalanta,” he said at a press conference. “It’s a huge challenge, but there are always possiblitites.

“Atalanta have a unique style – almost one on one across the whole pitch. They attack with seven players in the opposition half.

“It’s difficult to play against them. They’ve scored a lot of goals and are a great team. There are chances to find spaces but we have to play well.

“It will be a tactical game, but also a mental game. Our latest training sessions were a good mix of concentration and team spirit. We suffer together, but we also fight and play together.”

The coach has revealed Kylian Mbappe can make the match against La Dea: “If he trains well today and if nothing extraordinary happens, then he’s in the team tomorrow.”

Mauro Icardi is expected to start up front with Neymar, whilst Marco Verratti looks set to sit out in the middle, but could be back in contention if PSG advance to the semi-finals.

“We have to wait and see, to be patient with Marco,” Tuchel added. “Last week it wasn’t possible for him to run but yesterday he started running again.

“[The injury] was an accident in training, really bad luck. Now we are in a phase where Marco can step up his work.”

The former Dortmund coach feels the PSG players are well prepared for the big game against the Orobici tomorrow, having picked up the Ligue 1 before the interruption and adding the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue after the break.

“We all have the feeling we’ve prepared in the best fashion. For us it was really important to win the two Finals.

“It wasn’t easy to restart after a four-month pause and then four weeks’ preparation to play two Finals as the big favourites.

“That was a big challenge mentally for the players but to win was the best preparation for this tournament.”

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