Kylian Mbappé could start vs. RB Leipzig ahead of UCL semifinal
After a 30-minute cameo against Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel revealed his superstar forward Kylian Mbappé could be in line to start against RB Leipzig in the upcoming semifinal match on Tuesday.
Tuchel was confident the French wonderkid would be able to take part in the PSG starting XI, but noted that playing the full match could be a different story.
“He played 30 minutes against Atalanta. He has gained in capacity,” the coach told reporters, according to Goal.com. “He can start, but we’ll see if he can play 90 minutes. We will decide after training to know if he starts.”
Kylian Mbappé provided a solid boost upon coming into the pitch after the first hour of football, providing some depth and one-on-one ability to get past Atalanta’s sturdy defense. While the French international did not score, he provided the crucial assist in PSG’s game-winning goal, one that put the Ligue 1 champions on top with only a couple of injury time minutes remaining.
PSG noticeably improved once Neymar and Mbappé were able to connect on the pitch, something Tuchel has always kept in mind:
“This is our strong point,” Tuchel said of Neymar and Mbappé. “They always make the difference. It’s a good mix between Neymar who dribbles and Kylian who brings speed and who is hungry to score all the time.
“In each team, you have small connections. The two together are exceptional. Ney is a little bit different as a leader. He has quality, a lot of confidence in the field, courage too. He always wants to win and he always wants to fight. He loves competition and that is essential for a leader.”
Kylian Mbappé might not play the full 90 minutes after recovering from an ankle injury that he suffered in the French Cup Final, but PSG could get off to a much better start with him on the pitch from the onset against an RB Leipzig team that has surprised many in the tournament.