Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe, Neymar to start vs. Liverpool

Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2018 by ESPN

Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe, Neymar to start vs. Liverpool

Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will both start Wednesday's crucial Champions League Group C clash with Liverpool after coming through training unscathed after recent injury scares.

Both players picked up knocks while on international duty last week and missed last Saturday's 1-0 home win over Toulouse in Ligue 1, but the pair trained individually over the weekend before re-joining their teammates for collective sessions on Monday and Tuesday.

"Neymar, like Kylian, is fit, in form and there are no problems," said Tuchel at Tuesday's pre-match press conference at Parc des Princes. "Both of them will start."

PSG are third in Champions League Group C after four matches, a point behind Napoli and Liverpool and one ahead of Red Star Belgrade, and need to beat Jurgen Klopp's men in Paris this week to put themselves in a strong position ahead of the final round of games.

Tuchel could deploy central defender Marquinhos in midfield again, despite the Brazil international's difficulties in the 3-2 defeat at Anfield earlier this campaign, and the German tactician refused to rule out that possibility.

"I cannot say," Tuchel said. "It is possible, and he can play there, but I am not sure yet.

"It is important against a team like Liverpool that all players are comfortable on the pitch -- decisions need to be made quickly in a match like this one."

Tuchel also admitted that keeping out the likes of Liverpool's Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane will be of equal importance to getting Neymar and Mbappe on the ball.

"We will have to defend well up against the likes of their front three," Tuchel said."It will not be easy.

"However, we also need to put emphasis on the attack -- we must think about winning and not fear defeat.

"Transitions and decisions must happen fast to find the likes of Neymar and Kylian in dangerous positions."

Asked about the possibility of playing in midfield again, Marquinhos admitted that it is not his most comfortable position but that he will happily play there when asked by Tuchel.

"We are here for that," the former Roma man said. "We are workers, so we get paid to do that. It is not a question of loving a position or not -- you have to put yourself at the disposal of the team and the coach.

"Some did not like my performance at Anfield but I did everything that the coach asked me to do. I do not think of myself, I put the team first. "I feel better in defence, but I can handle it. I am used to defending -- I trained there and have played that position the most. However, the coach can count on me."

Marquinhos also praised Tuchel for his work in changing PSG's collective mentality after a number of setbacks over the past few seasons, notably in the Champions League.

"It was obvious that the first thing that needed improving was the mentality of the players and the team," he said. "The coach has shown us small details and he knows how to talk, does things for the good of the team and knows how to say things.

"It is working well, we are in good form and we need to keep that going coming into such a huge match."

A win for PSG on Wednesday would keep them in contention to finish top of Group C as Liverpool and Napoli -- both ahead of the Ligue 1 giants pre-match -- will meet in the final round of fixtures when Les Parisiens travel to Belgrade to take on Red Star.



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