Tuchel: Nothing PSG can do about Neymar and Mbappe call-ups

Oleh Daniel Lewis 6 November 2020 34
Tuchel: Nothing PSG can do about Neymar and Mbappe call-ups

Thomas Tuchel would prefer it if Neymar and Kylian Mbappe had not been called up by their national sides but concedes there is nothing Paris Saint-Germain can do.

Both players have been struggling with injuries and will play no part in PSG's Ligue 1 clash with Rennes on Saturday.

Mbappe missed Wednesday's 2-1 loss to RB Leipzig with a "minor" muscular issue sustained against Nantes last week, while Neymar has sat out two games with a groin problem.

However, Mbappe is part of France's squad for their November internationals and Neymar is due to travel to South America for Brazil's World Cup qualifying double-header against Venezuela and Uruguay.

Speaking at a news conference previewing the match with Rennes, Tuchel told reporters: "It's the right of the national teams to call up their players. We can't do anything about it.

"I prefer that if the players are injured and cannot play, we get them back. But at the same time we have to trust the national teams to take good care of the players."

Since his arrival in August 2017, PSG have played as many Ligue 1 games with Neymar as without, winning 86 per cent of matches he has been involved in and 70 per cent in his absence.

PSG are also without Marco Verratti, Mauro Icardi, Julian Draxler, Keylor Navas, Presnel Kimpembe and, potentially, Pablo Sarabia for the visit of Rennes.

The champions have lost 13 league games against Rennes this century – only against Lyon have they had as many defeats.

Julien Stephan's side finished third in last season's shortened Ligue 1 campaign and are in the same position this time around after nine games.

Tuchel has been impressed by what he has seen from Rennes, who also beat PSG on penalties after a 2-2 draw to win the 2019 Coupe de France final.

"During my time in France, this team has always been progressing," he said. "They have a good unity between the team and the coach and deserve to be in the Champions League.

"They won a cup, too, unfortunately against us. They are a strong, solid and courageous team.

"They are very impressive and we are preparing for what should be a great match."

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