Thomas Tuchel sees Tuesday’s Champions League match against RB Leipzig as a final. If the losing finalist loses, the team no longer has control over wintering in the tournament.
Base place for not quite fit Neymar
PSG can only live on a victory against Basaksehir halfway through the group stage. Its main competitors, RB Leipzig and Manchester United, were lost. The French top club is therefore only third in group H.
“This match is a final for us and that’s how we approach it,” Tuchel said at his press conference on Monday. “The mentality within the group is good and the players are ready. We have a lot of confidence in ourselves.”
Tuchel insists that his team should not play with fear in its own Parc des Princes. “We need to be bolder in the attack and show more initiative. I don’t want us to play with the fear of conceding a goal.”
To underline how important the game is for PSG, Tuchel calls on Neymar from the start on Tuesday. The Brazilian is not yet completely fit after a groin injury and only played for half an hour in the 3-2 lost league match against AS Monaco on Friday.
“He is not quite the old one yet, but will certainly be in the base,” said the German trainer. “He can handle that, both physically and mentally. Although I hope it won’t come down to him alone.”
Tuchel therefore also points to Kylian Mbappé. The French striker is the top scorer in Ligue 1, but has not scored a goal in the Champions League for the entire calendar year. “If he doesn’t score, it has a lot of impact. We need his goals, but I know he’s doing everything we can.”
The game between PSG and RB Leipzig starts on Tuesday at 9 p.m. At the same time, Manchester United and Basaksehir kick off at Old Trafford.