Lisbon/Berlin, Aug 17 (efe-epa).- Paris Saint-Germain are favorites to move on to the Uefa Champions League final and although their semi-final rival RB Leipzig lack the big names of the French side, they have proven not to be push-overs in the competition so far.
The departure of star striker Timo Werner to Chelsea did not hamper Leipzig in their tight victory over Atlético Madrid with Dayot Upamecano driving the German side from the defensive line.
Having already exceeded expectations this year, the pressure on Leipzig in Tuesday’s semi-final will pale in comparison to that felt by PSG.
The multi-million dollar project, with Neymar and Kylian Mbappé at the helm, will only be considered an all-out success if they secure Europe’s most sought after silverware, a feat that has eluded French clubs since Marseille won the competition in 1993.
Neymar and Mbappé have momentum in their favor, proving in the quarter-final against Atalanta, which PSG won in the dying minutes, that they can tip the balance on the big stage.
Neymar was awarded man of the match against the Italian side and, with Mbappé starting on the bench having recently recovered from injury, PSG’s players threw themselves behind the Brazilian goalscorer.
First choice goalkeeper Keylor Navas came off with a hamstring injury against Atalanta, replaced by Spaniard Sergio Rico, who looks set to keep that role against Leipzig.
Defender Thiago Silva also picked up a hamstring injury against the Italian side but should be fit to play in the semi-final, and Marco Veratti remains doubtful having not played for the French team since 4 August with a calf issue.
Choupo Moting, who scored the winning goal against Atalanta, is not likely to start against Leipzig, and coach Thomas Tuchel may order Spanish international Pablo Sarabia to cede his position to Mbappé.
Tuchel told a press conference Monday that the France international was ready to play, although he fell short of confirming whether he would start on Tuesday.