Last week during the international break, both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe limped off their respective pitches for Brazil and France. The hope, at least from Liverpool’s perspective, was that the Reds wouldn’t have to face the dangerous attacking duo who combined for Paris Saint-Germain’s second goal at Anfield.
However, yesterday PSG boss Thomas Tuchel confirmed that both players are fit and ready to take on Liverpool tonight.
“Neymar is 100 per cent and Mbappe too. They are fit. They trained today and yesterday, and they will line up tomorrow. There’s no risk,” Tuchel said.
“I have told them we need to play with passion and confidence. We play to win. We need to pass the ball fast and make quick decisions to find Neymar and Mbappe... and we have to focus on just one thing: we play only to win.
“It’s important that we play together, we can’t lose focus by thinking what could happen if we lose or draw. We have to play this game relaxed with 100% focus on what we have to do.”
If PSG lose to Liverpool, the Reds are through and PSG are very likely to be eliminated (depending on the result of the Napoli-Red Star match). With so much riding on this match, and so little riding on Ligue 1 and international football, it’s no surprise the two key players suddenly find themselves fully fit.
Of course, competing against (and hopefully beating) the best teams with the best players is what the Champions League is about. If Liverpool cannot win one of their two remaining matches (especially after two pitiful away performances, each deservedly resulting in a loss), they do not deserve to go through to the next round. On the other hand, beating PSG with Neymar and Mbappe both home and away would certainly be results worthy of advancement to the knockout rounds.