Champions League

Neymar and Mbappe fit to face Liverpool in Champions League Showdown

The PSG stars were doubts following injuries picked up on international duty but Tuchel has confirmed both are fit to start. 

Neymar limped off early in Brazil’s 1-0 win against Cameroon last week whilst French starlet Kylian Mbappe sustained a shoulder injury in their 1-0 victory against Uruguay.

Both players trained with the PSG squad on Tuesday afternoon and Tuchel later stated in his press conference that: ‘Neymar is 100 per cent fit, as is Mbappe, and they will be in the line-up tomorrow.’

This will be a huge boost to the French champions who must get a result against Liverpool to keep their Champions League title hopes alive.

Defeat for the home side at the Parc des Princes tomorrow night, provided Napoli are able to beat Red Star Belgrade at the Stadio San Paolo, will mean another disappointing early Champions League exit for PSG, who are yet to win Europe’s most prestigious trophy.

Liverpool were able to get the better of PSG when the two sides faced each other at Anfield in September, with a late Roberto Fimino goal securing the reds a 3-2 victory.

However, Klopp’s men have struggled away from home in Europe this season and losses away to Napoli and Red Star Belgrade mean Liverpool’s hopes of progressing to the round of 16 also rely on getting a result tomorrow night.

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Team News

Mbappe and Neymar trained for PSG on Tuesday morning and Tuchel confirmed the pair are fit and ready to face Liverpool on Wednesday night.

For Liverpool, Sadio Mane trained on Tuesday morning and travelled with the squad to Paris after it was reported he may miss the clash due to illness.

Klopp said: “He will be fine. If he plays, we will see, but he is fine,

“Sadio was on the plane, so if nothing happened when I left the plane and went for one-and-a-half hours to the press conference… when I saw him last he was fine.”

Joe Gomez also returns to the Liverpool squad after he missed their 3-0 victory at Vicarge road on Saturday afternoon.

Notable absentees include Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne, Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke.

The reds boss said: “Adam Lallana is back in training on Thursday, but that is obviously after the game tomorrow,

“The issue is nothing anymore because he is on the way back; it was a minor muscle thing and nothing serious.

“Dom has a little groin issue, it happened in training.”

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What the managers said

The Liverpool boss looks forward to his side taking on the French champions and that believes his side are ready to get a result.

He said: “We are here, we didn’t ever think negatively about it, we were looking forward to the game in Paris.

“We don’t play here very often and it’s a big task. It’s just really exciting and the more difficult it is, the more I enjoy the preparation because you have to think about pretty much everything,

“We have to make sure that they are not that dominant against us. When we have our possession we [have to] do something smart with that. That’s all in two training sessions, actually one, today.

“The weather was not too good in Liverpool but the boys were 100 per cent focused for 60, 70 minutes on the pitch, fully concentrated and hopefully you can see that tomorrow night.”

The PSG boss highlighted the threat of Liverpool’s attacking talent: “We need to defend well against (Sadio) Mane, (Mohamed) Salah and (Roberto) Firmino.

“Firmino may play any position in attack so we have to adapt. What is key for us is to play with confidence and we play to win. A key thing for us is to pass the ball very fast and make swift decisions.”

He also demanded focus from his players as they prepare for the test of what Tuchel described as “one of the greatest teams in Europe”

He went on to say: ““There are still big steps for us and we have to make a big step tomorrow. If you search for the word ‘team’, you end up with Liverpool because they really play as one under Jurgen Klopp in every single game.

“There is a possibility we don’t win, but it is very important tomorrow we focus on winning. The bigger the game, the bigger the pressure, the more important is the focus.”

 

The last time Liverpool faced PSG in Paris was in the 1996/97 season in the Semi-Finals of the UEFA Cup Winners Cup where they suffered a 3-0 defeat.

Last year’s finalists will hope it’s a different story tomorrow night and that they’re able to secure their place in the round of 16.

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