Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

PSG make light of Mbappe, Neymar absence in Parc stroll

PSG make light of Mbappe, Neymar absence in Parc stroll

Tuchel's six straight competitive wins since taking charge broke Carlo Ancelotti's club record from 2011 , with Julian Draxler taking his chance to impress in the absence of rested Neymar and suspended Mbappe. Today we were without Neymar and Kylian and I'm happy to have used players that were here during the global break.

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"I know that many people view the Liverpool match as the most important", Tuchel said. I told him he wouldn't play and he couldn't train, but he felt good and did the whole session.

"It was a hard first half and Saint-Etienne played very well".

Juan Bernat came in for his debut at left-back, Lassana Diarra took over from Marquinhos in midfield, with Marco Verratti replacing Neymar as Tuchel switched formations to a 4-3-3. I asked Neymar at 10 GMT on Friday how he was, and his reply was 'I do not know.' When he told me that, it was an alarm in my head.

"We've won five times and that shows we still have a hunger to continue winning", said Tuchel. "I didn't want to take any risks and we decided together that he wouldn't play".

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Snatching five wins from five matches and tallying 17 goals into the season, PSG sat atop the league table, expecting much more challenge from their duel against Premier League side Liverpool in next week's UEFA Champions League.

Tuchel made four changes from the side that won 4-2 at Nimes Olympique before the worldwide break, with both Marquinhos are Neymar rested after their midweek return from Brazil duty.

"Today, we have to focus on group matches, because we have a very strong group". Saint-Etienne was a good rehearsal.

"We must respect this opponent who is a great team, but I think we can do something".

Buffon, 40, and compatriot Marco Verratti are both banned for the Anfield clash with last season's beaten finalists because of suspensions incurred last campaign, while Dani Alves and Layvin Kurzawa are both out injured - and US global Timothy Weah is not included.

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