Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Mbappé starts on the bench against Man City after a last physical condition test

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Kylian Mbappé will start on the bench with Paris Saint-Germain ahead of the Champions League semi-final second leg against Manchester City on Tuesday.

Mbappé has faced a race against time to be declared fit after suffering a calf injury. He did not take part in his team’s 2-1 win over Lens at the weekend and was even filmed limping a few days before the game.

Despite this, Mbappé was still named in the PSG squad to face City. It was understood that the club was making a late decision on the physical condition of its star and it appears that they have reached a verdict.

According to French journalist Julien Maynard, he will come off the bench in what is a serious blow to the chances of Mauricio Pochettino’s team going to the final.

The Parisians already faced an uphill struggle after losing the first leg in Paris 2-1. They went ahead early on when Marquinhos nodded from a corner and looked like he would increase his lead for most of the first half. However, after the break, City recovered. Two PSG errors gave goals to Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez, while Idrissa Gueye was dismissed for a poor tackle with 13 minutes remaining.

Pochettino has several options to replace Mbappe. Mauro Icardi started up front against Lens, but Julian Draxler and Pablo Sarabia could also be drafted to play alongside Ángel Di María and Neymar, who caused City problems in the first leg.

Gueye’s omission for suspension is another blow. The former Everton player is a destructive midfield presence and will likely be replaced by Danilo Pereira, who was left on the bench in the first leg.

Unlike their opponents, City have no concerns about further injuries. However, it is known that Pep Guardiola made dramatic tactical changes in the later stages of the Champions League, which means that the selection of his team remains a mystery.

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