The Frenchman has been ruled out of action after sustaining a knee injury against Saint-Etiene in the French Cup final that the Paris club won 1-0. He has been ruled out of action for three weeks, which makes the manager admitted that it would take a miracle to see him play in the Champions League against debutants, Atalanta.
Tuchel however, has not given up on having the World Cup winner back for the latter stages of the Champions League but admitted that the August 12 meeting against the Orobici will come too soon for the 21-year-old.
“I still have hope, but it’s very feeble. He’s healing himself, every hour that passes can be important, even if it would take a miracle to see him on the pitch against Atalanta.
“This will have an important influence for us, but I hope that the solution will be found,” Tuchel says at the press conference.
Mauro Icardi is expected to return to the starting line up alongside Neymar for the matches against Lyon and Atalanta. Tuchel expressed confidence that the Argentine forward, who has scored 20 goals in all competitions since joining from Inter Milan will continue his good form.
“He was very strong in the first friendlies, he is always very strong with Neymar, Kylian and Angel Di Maria. He likes to play with all three.
“He matches the characteristics of the team. It is not necessary for him not to touch the ball too many times. He can wait. He has a lot of patience. It’s up to everyone to improve, not just him. He will improve and he can play better. He works a lot defensively, he is disciplined, he is important for us.”
He further stated that the striker not getting enough ball doesn’t mean he is not in good shape.
“He remains the same player as when he arrived. He always wants to score and it is also our goal to give him good balls to score. He remains important for us.”
The German tactician further stated that he won be treating Friday’s final as a warm-up for the European clash. According to him, their Italian opponents have a completely different playing style.
“Its impossible to tactically prepare for Atalanta in a match against Lyon. I don’t know a team that plays like Atalanta. We can just work on our state of mind and show our hunger to win. This will prepare us from this point of view if we get a good result tomorrow.”
Verratti: Any team would miss Mbappe
Also speaking ahead of tonight’s French League Cup final against Lyon, Marco Verratti said the team is not thinking about Atalanta yet and their focus remains on Lyon.
PSG had initially won Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France this season. A success tonight will make it their third of the season ahead of their clash against Atalanta in the quarter-finals of the Champions League next month.
Not wanting to lose focus ahead of the final, the Italian midfielder avoided the question regarding the upcoming match against the Orobici, saying the team is not thinking about the game yet.
“The most important match is tomorrow (today). We are happy to play against Lyon, they are an excellent team.”
“We thought of him when we raised the trophy, but injuries are part of being a football player,” the Italy international added. We will miss him. Any team would miss a player like him.”