The same but more complicated. After a painful week punctuated by a short victory (1-0) over Leipzig and a draw against Bordeaux (2-2), both times at the Park, PSG leaves the capital to challenge Manchester United on Wednesday and Montpellier on Saturday, in Champions League as in Ligue 1 where he needs points every time. The air is not unbreathable around the club but the dislocated game of Paris accompanies cracks in the locker room.
Of men and evils
This Sunday, the troop returned to its failed second period against Bordeaux on Saturday at the Parc des Princes (2-2). The weeks go by, the findings remain the same: the team was cut in two, the attackers making no effort to relieve the others in the defensive aspect. Even Neymar saw it.
“We have to play more as a team, we have to organize ourselves better”, regrets the Brazilian star without knowing whether he is primarily targeting his partners (“as a team”) or his coach (“better organize” ). Maybe both. Last week, it was Kylian Mbappé who had not tasted the two faces of his team in the Principality, regretting the relaxation after the break. Internally, the world champion had testified to his incomprehension and displayed a form of annoyance as Paris led 2-0 before losing (3-2).
VIDEO. PSG-Bordeaux (2-2): “A chance that Paris is doing so well”
Basically, tensions agitate the club on each floor, between coach Thomas Tuchel and sports director Leonardo, between the stars among themselves, between the stars and the coach. Tuesday, in the Champions League, Angel Di Maria did not like to leave the meeting in the 64th minute (replaced by Rafinha), ostensibly showing his disapproval. The Argentinian believes that he goes after Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, too untouchable in his eyes. As if to assert his authority, the technician left the left-hander on the bench against Bordeaux. The Argentinian entered … in the 64th and in place of Rafinha, which at least allowed the two South Americans to make a full match in the week.
What type of team?
Keylor Navas (muscle pain) and Marquinhos (adductors) will participate, except last minute setbacks, in the trip leading the delegation to Manchester. With the return to the group of Mauro Icardi (5 minutes played against the Girondins), the group is almost complete for one of the first times of the season. Juan Bernat is still missing and still for a long time and a doubt remains for Layvin Kurzawa, also victim of pain. Julian Draxler and Thilo Kehrer continue their individual program.
The big question for PSG in Manchester is not new: will Danilo Pereira play and if so in what position? If Tuchel absolutely wants to place Marquinhos in the middle, with Marco Verratti and Leandro Paredes or Ander Herrera, he only has Presnel Kimpembe and Abdou Diallo left in central defense. The pair showed their limits in Monaco the last time they were fielded. The other question refers to the treatment of Moise Kean, the most leggy attacker at the moment but his tenure, in a 4-3-3, would require to do without Neymar, Mbappé or Di Maria, which does not look like really to the management of Tuchel in recent weeks.
The coach hopes that the team will come together around the quest for qualification for the round of 16, one of the last unifying projects at PSG, an obsession even when the capital club has never failed in phase hens since his return to the Champions League in 2012. A draw remains the minimum objective for Paris, which would have every interest in winning to remain master of its destiny.
The coach could align this team to fulfill his mission: Navas – Florenzi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Bakker – Danilo Pereira, Verratti, Paredes or Herrera – Neymar, Di Maria, Mbappé.