Mbappe fitness boost for PSG ahead of Nice trip
The France forward has been struggling with a hamstring injury.
Thomas Tuchel hopes to welcome back Kylian Mbappe for Paris St Germain’s trip to Nice on Friday.
Mbappe missed France’s Euro 2020 qualifying double header against Iceland and Turkey because of a hamstring injury but Tuchel revealed the influential French forward is in contention to feature at the Allianz Riviera.
The 20-year-old’s availability would offset the loss of Brazilian superstar Neymar, who is set for four weeks on the sidelines after an MRI confirmed a thigh muscle tear.
“Thilo Kehrer, Idrissa Gueye and Neymar Jr are injured and Juan Bernat is suspended. All the other players have been training and are available,” Tuchel told a press conference.
“Kylian Mbappe is training normally. I am happy that we reached an agreement with the France national team because he couldn’t play.
“On Monday he trained by himself to keep coming back. He couldn’t have played against Turkey.
“He now has a full week training under his belt, but that’s different, training with a small group of players, compared to a high-intensity match of football.
“You can’t play when you’re only 80 per cent, you need to be 100 per cent for these types of matches.”
The PSG head coach is sure there will be no lingering hangover following the international break for several of his players as they look to extend their lead atop Ligue 1.
Defender Juan Bernat and midfield duo Pablo Sarabia and Marco Verratti only arrived back at the French capital on Wednesday and face another flight ahead of Friday’s game at Nice.
The defending champions could go five points clear ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures and Tuchel would have no qualms about using the trio at the Allianz Riviera.
“I’m expecting a big match away from home after the international break,” Tuchel told a press conference.
“Juan Bernat, Pablo Sarabia and Marco Verratti only just arrived back in Paris and now have another flight. But I have confidence in those players that were here over the break: they are ready.”
Following their visit to the Cote D’Azur, PSG will travel to Belgium to take on Club Brugge in the Champions League before welcoming Marseille to the Parc des Princes before the end of the month.
“That’s a lot to overcome, it’s a real challenge,” Tuchel added.
Nice have collected just one point from their last three top-flight matches but they could welcome back Christophe Herelle and Remi Walter from injury.
Defender Herelle has been out since late August because of a knee injury while midfielder Walter has been out for more than two months with an ankle complaint.
Nice head coach Patrick Vieira told a press conference: We will need to see how Christophe feels and evaluate his physical state, to see if he is able to hold his own in a match at this level.
“But it’s true that it’s a very good thing to have him in the squad.
“(Walter) came back after his ankle sprain and is also training with the squad.”