Kylian Mbappe trains at the Etihad in boost for PSG on the eve of their Champions League semi-final second leg against Manchester City, with boss Mauricio Pochettino insisting he will make late call on star man’s calf injury
- Mbappe has been struggling with a calf injury and is in doubt for the semi-final
- The French phenomenon only returned to individual training on Monday evening
- But Pep Guardiola insisted the PSG attacker would definitely feature in the game
Paris Saint-Germain will make a late call on Kylian Mbappe’s fitness ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Manchester City.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino revealed yesterday that Mbappe, who has been struggling with a calf injury, only returned to individual training on Monday night.
But the French side, trailing 2-1 from the first leg, will wait until later on Tuesday evening before deciding if the forward can feature.
Paris Saint-Germain star forward Kylian Mbappe (shown right) has been out injured recently
Manager Mauricio Pochettino (right) says he will make a late call on the Frenchman’s fitness
Pochettino said on Monday: ‘We need to assess Kylian, he’s going to start the individual training sessions and see if he can be with the team in the end.
‘I think there is still one day and we still didn’t decide if he’s going to be available or not to play. We will take the decision on Tuesday.’
City boss Pep Guardiola is certain the 22-year-old will make it: ‘He’s going to play,’ he said. ‘And I’m looking forward to him playing.’
PSG face Manchester City in their Champions League semi-final second leg on Tuesday night
With or without Mbappe, PSG will need to score at least twice to reach a second successive final. But their manager is unfazed by the task ahead.
‘I think ‘Houston, we have a problem’ if we need to motivate our players or Manchester City need to motivate their players!’ Pochettino joked.
‘I saw Pep in his press conference say ‘I’m more relaxed than ever’. In my position it’s the same, I am so relaxed, I’m enjoying (it) because it’s difficult to arrive at this stage.’
City boss Pep Guardiola said he fully expected Mbappe to play and was looking forward to it
Pochettino compared his emotions to before his Tottenham side overcame a first-leg deficit against Ajax to reach the 2019 final.
‘I have the same feeling,’ he added. ‘I am relaxed like two years ago, knowing we are going to face a very good team but we have good quality players too, we’re a very good team too. It’s going to be a battle.’
Idrissa Gueye would miss the final even if PSG made it after UEFA gave him a two-match ban for his first-leg red card. The French giants have also been fined €30,000 (£26,000) for kicking off late in the 2-1 defeat in Paris.