Everyone knows I want to play Mbappe - Tuchel

Oleh Stephen Creek 27 Oktober 2019 25
Everyone knows I want to play Mbappe - Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel wants to start Kylian Mbappe in Paris Saint-Germain's clash with Marseille on Sunday but refused to confirm whether the forward is fully fit for La Classique.

Mbappe has not started a game since PSG beat Toulouse 4-0 on August 25, with Tuchel easing him back into action following his recovery from a thigh muscle strain.

But the 20-year-old's hat-trick as a substitute in PSG's 5-0 victory over Club Brugge on Tuesday, which followed his goal from the bench in a 4-1 win at Nice four days earlier, has increased pressure on Tuchel to give Mbappe a starting berth.

"I won't tell you if he will start," head coach Tuchel told reporters on Saturday. "I have not spoken with him since Tuesday.

"We talked on the ground, a perfectly normal discussion. Yes, we had a meeting in a meeting room in Bruges, but that's it. He could not play more than 50 or 60 minutes, depending on the intensity. He has not had a particular muscle reaction since.

"It's always complicated to say how many minutes a player could play, as for example a player could run 25 sprints, it could be too much, and on another game he would run less sprint and play more time. It's hard to say.

"We will decide tomorrow if he can start against Marseille. Everyone knows that I want to play with him."

Tuchel was pressed for updates on the fitness of Neymar, who missed the win over Club Brugge due to a hamstring injury he sustained on international duty.

The injury occurred during Brazil's 1-1 draw with Nigeria, and Neymar has since been left out of his national team's squad to face Argentina and South Korea in November.

Tuchel dodged questions about whether Neymar could yet be passed fit to join up with the Selecao, saying: "I have to prepare my team, and they [Brazil] have to prepare their team. Fair enough.

"We have different goals. It's a discussion between the club and the Brazil team.

"We will do whatever it takes to get him back as quickly as possible."

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Stephen Creek

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