Kylian Mbappe needs “a miracle” to get a chance to play in Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) Champions League quarter-finals against Atalanta, according to boss Thomas Tuchel.
The French international sprained his ankle in last week’s Coupe de France victory over Saint-Etienne and Monday’s scans revealed that he will be missing about three weeks.
PSG face Atalanta in a one-legged tie in Lisbon on August 12 and Tuchel, while not completely excluding Mbappe, admits that it is almost certain that he will be without the attacker.
“We still have hope and every day is counting on a miracle,” Tuchel said in a press conference ahead of the PSG Coupe de la Ligue final with Lyon on Friday.
“But tomorrow we will be without him and his absence will have an influence on us. I hope that a solution can be found.”
Thilo Kehrer and Colin Dagba should jump against Lyon, while Juan Bernat remains doubtful, but Marco Verratti will hope to earn a call to the team.
Tuchel left Verratti on the bench for 75 minutes last week, preferring instead Leandro Paredes alongside Idrissa Gueye, and hinted that he could again elect a 4-4-2 on Friday
“It was a super complicated decision to leave Marco on the bench, but I felt that I deserved to let Idrissa and Paredes play together after the result of Borussia Dortmund,” he said.
“If we keep our 4-4-2, we can do it with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Angel Di Maria or Pablo Sarabia.
“We can make the decision tomorrow. I want to wait until after the final training session.”
PSG has won the Coupe de la Ligue a record eight times, including five consecutive seasons before last year, and are favorites to beat Ligue 1 rivals in Lyon.
But Tuchel says it would be wrong to cancel Friday’s opponents, who lead Juventus 1-0 in their last Champions League 16 game, and look forward to the clash with Atalanta.
“Tomorrow will be a great challenge against a Champions League-level opponent,” he said.
“We have won a complicated game against Saint-Étienne and this is now another step forward against a team on the field to eliminate Juventus.
“We still cannot prepare to face Atalanta. I don’t know another team that plays like them. All we can do is work on our mood and how hungry we are to win games.
“This will prepare us well if we have a positive result against Lyon.”