Conflicts & War

PSG sweat over Mbappé injury ahead of crunch Madrid showdown

Paris, Mar 7 (EFE).- Paris Saint-Germain’s second leg clash against Real Madrid on Wednesday could be decided on “small details”, said PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino, who could be without a host of big-name stars for the crunch match, including Kylian Mbappé.

PSG travel to the Spanish capital with a slender 1-0 lead thanks to a brilliant Mbappé goal in injury-time.

But Pochettino could be without arguably his most potent attacking weapon at the Santiago Bernabeu after Mbappé was forced out of training on Monday with a foot injury.

While team doctors have ruled out a fracture, the French forward will have scans to determine the severity of the injury and whether he will recover in time for Wednesday’s clash.

Mbappé, who has scored 19 goals in the French league and another five in the Champions League, has been carrying the team and his absence (through suspension) on Saturday against Nice was keenly felt as PSG struggled in attack, slipping to its third defeat of the season (1-0).

With just three and a half months remaining on his contract with PSG, the striker is widely expected to join Real Madrid this summer.

In an interview with Efe, the Argentine coach also refused to confirm whether Neymar Jr would be fit to face Real.

“We’ll see whether or not Ney will play on Wednesday,” said Pochettino, who added that his side were not favorites to progress, even though they have a 1-0 lead.

“We have a small advantage because of the first match, but some aspects are out of our control,” he said.

“If we have the right attitude and focus, we can control these aspects, so they’re on our side. I think it’s difficult to foresee the kind of match it’s going to be because of many elements, the players that could play.”

On the possibility of a return to the Bernabéu for Sergio Ramos, who was a lynchpin for Real, winning 22 honors in his 17 years at the club, Pochettino said last week that “he is still not training with the group” due to his recurring injury problems and that he will evaluate the situation in the coming days, although the veteran defender is expected to travel with the team.

“Sergio can transmit that experience of having spent 17 years at a club like Real Madrid and give good advice to his teammates (…) It would be good for him to be there, beyond his conditions to participate. Any contribution is welcome, the smallest details can be decisive in PSG’s favor,” he said. EFE


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