M
SM
Thursday, February 21

Premier League

Champions League

TIMELINE

Thomas Tuchel prepared for '50-50' tie with Manchester United

Paris St Germain had been expected to win comfortably before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over.
By Ian Parker, | 9d

Paris St Germain coach Thomas Tuchel admitted his side can no longer be considered clear favourites to beat Manchester United in their Champions League Round of 16 tie.

When the draw was made in December few doubted the Ligue 1 leaders would get the better of a United side labouring under Jose Mourinho.

But since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as caretaker there has been something of a revolution at Old Trafford, while PSG arrived in Manchester with star strikers Neymar and Edinson Cavani sidelined by injury.

Thomas Tuchel was in a relaxed mood ahead of the Manchester United clash (Martin Rickett/PA)

Now the Parisiens can no longer be so confident of progressing.

"Over 180 minutes I would say it's 50-50," Tuchel said through a translator. "Tomorrow, with them at home at Old Trafford whether it's 50-50 I'm not sure but we have a second leg in Paris where we are strong and comfortable.

"At this level it's the details. It could be a decision of a referee, a yellow or a red that can make the difference. It's a close game."

Tuchel said he never got as far as scouting Mourinho's United, but he is clear about the challenge posed by the Solskjaer version – still unbeaten with 10 wins from 11.

"They play with a lot of confidence, they score a lot of goals and get a lot of early leads," he said. "It's an impressive run. To play at Old Trafford in this moment against this Manchester United is one of the toughest challenges you can have."

And it is a challenge which only got harder for PSG at the weekend, when Cavani injured his hip after scoring in a 1-0 win over Bordeaux. Neymar has been missing since breaking a metatarsal on January 23 and faces 10 weeks out.

"Would Man Utd miss (Paul) Pogba or (Marcus) Rashford? Of course," Tuchel said. "Neymar is one of our best players and one of the best players in Europe. We will miss him a lot. And now Cavani is out."

But Tuchel said their absence should not change the way PSG play, particularly given they still have one of the best strikers in Europe in their side in the form of Kylian Mbappe.

"Obviously we're going to be missing a couple of key attackers, but you don't change your identity for that reason," Tuchel said.

"We have a tradition, we play attacking football and that is how we're used to playing – to create chances.

"It's in our DNA. That's how we play. To change it is really difficult."

However, Tuchel did say some things about his side have changed – particularly in terms of maturity since their 3-2 defeat to Liverpool early in the Champions League campaign.

"Absolutely, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to draw the game against Napoli under a lot of pressure, nor beat Liverpool in what was a decisive game for us," he said.

"I think we've come a long way. We're a really tight-knit team with a lot of energy.

"We cannot forget the fact we're a big club, we are from Paris, the capital of France. We are capable of playing at the highest level but we don't have a lot of history in the Champions League.

"We haven't played a lot of finals or semi-finals so sometimes it is difficult for us to play Liverpool or Manchester United. There is an energy for these clubs and I believe it really makes it more difficult. That is why we must stay together."

There will be a familiar face in the PSG side with Angel Di Maria set to return to Old Trafford, where his career failed to fire, and Julian Draxler revealed his team-mate was fired up.

"I was asking him some questions about Manchester United," said Draxler. "I won't tell you what he said, but he will be ready.

"He's a big player. He has a lot of respect for the club, there was nothing terrible in what he said, but it was between me and him."



amp_article_350072 : Collect and Make Data not in DataBase  : 
last updated article - 2019-02-11 19:46:26:
html db last update - 2019-02-20 06:18:44 :

ex - 7200 : read : write cache and make html

Click here for more stories about Thomas Tuchel

Click here for more stories about Manchester United

Share this article now:

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
UC
Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!
Loading ...
Recommended Next on SM
How Real Madrid could line up against Ajax
Result: Man City stun Schalke with late comeback
Rashford to sign new six-year contract?
UCL Team of the Week - Eriksen, Di Maria, Vertonghen

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411
Scroll for more - Tap for full version

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
UC
Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
X

We value your privacy

A part of our GDPR compliance we need to ask for your consent. We and our partners use technology such as cookies on Sports Mole to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology on Sports Mole.