Already without Neymar, PSG may have to deal with Edinson Cavani, who was hit in the thigh, for the Champions League trip to Manchester. A real puzzle for Thomas Tuchel.
Definitely, Paris Saint-Germain didn’t expect that. While Manchester United have recovered completely since the draw for the Champions League Round of 16 at the end of December, the situation is quite different for the capital’s club, which, after losing its best player, Neymar, to injury, is now worried about its forward Edinson Cavani, who was injured three days before the first leg at Old Trafford. A major problem for Thomas Tuchel, who will have to rethink his team composition.
“Have we considered a plan B? Without Ney (Neymar), perhaps without Edi (Cavani) and Marco (Verratti), we have to come up with a plan D,” replied the German coach at a press conference after the victory over Bordeaux (1-0) on Saturday. But on whom will Tuchel be able to rely? “We have to remain confident and calm,” says the former Dortmund coach, quoted by Le Parisien. Against Manchester, we need the key players, who play with confidence, experience, quality, who are used to playing these games, to controlling and managing the pressure. If two or three key players are not there, it is our responsibility to find solutions. Tuesday, we’ll be ready.”
Tuchel will therefore be betting on players with experience in the Champions League, which excludes the Moussa Diaby or Eric Choupo-Moting options. If Cavani is out of the running, Kylian Mbappé will play in the lead, supported by Angel Di Maria and, no doubt, the versatile Julian Draxler. It is quite possible that Tuchel will abandon the two-point system it has been using regularly in recent weeks. Alternatively, a 4-3-3-3 is possible, with Marquinhos, Verratti, Paredes or Dani Alves in midfield, to match Manchester’s scheme. Or a return to a three-axial defense, in order to offer more solidity.
In 4-3-3: Buffon – Kehrer (or Alves, or Meunier), Thiago Silva, Kimpembe, Bernat – Paredes (or Alves), Marquinhos, Verratti – Di Maria, Mbappé, Draxler.
In 3-5-2: Buffon – Kehrer, Thiago Silva, Kimpembe – Meunier (or Alves), Verratti, Marquinhos, Draxler, Bernat – Di Maria, Mbappé.