Thomas Tuchel: 'A real challenge'
The Paris Saint-Germain coach knows Sunday's trip to second-placed Lille will stretch his title-chasing side.
"Neymar Jr and Edinson Cavani aren't available. N'Soki will play with the reserves. As for Angel Di Maria, Moussa Diaby, Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting and Thilo Kehrer, we have to wait for today's final training session to take a decision on whether they will be included in the squad or not."
"It's been a long week since last Sunday's match against Strasbourg at the Parc, but we're confident. It was absolutely necessary to prepare well, because we're expecting a very very tough game tomorrow, a real challenge. We're aware that we'll have to be very careful to be able to express ourselves. I saw a lot of quality in the training sessions this week."
"Of course, as a coach, I would prefer all the players were available even if that makes choices even more difficult. To be able to compete in all the biggest competitions over a full season, it's necessary that the players play 45, 50 or 60 games. That allows us to maintain our standards, to improve our overall quality match-after-match and it also provides competition in every position. This season, I've had to work around the absences, which has also allowed us to learn things in different formations, changing the tactical approach, putting players in different positions. For several weeks, I had just 14 players in training but the team never gave up on anything, and gave everything. That attitude is exceptional."
"There are two things I love about him. Firstly, his incredible quality, because he's one of the best midfielders in the world. Also, I like his personality. Marco is a very humble guy, he always thinks of others, he puts the team before everything, that's very rare. Marco really has a great attitude, he's an exceptional player, a key player for us."
"Lille have a lot of individual and collective quality. In my opinion, they're one of the best teams in Europe on the counter-attack. Their four forwards are always dangerous, and it's a team that has pace, energy and talent. This season, Lille have been consistent in their performances and so deserve to be in second place."
A TACTICAL BATTLE IN PROSPECT
"For us, it'll be a big challenge to control this game and especially Lille's counter-attacks. In the first game this season at the Parc (2-1), we did that very well in what was one of our best performances of the season. We have to reproduce that tomorrow. Lille generally defend in their half of the pitch, positioning themselves quite deep in order to be able to go forward quickly. At the Parc, we pressed them high across the pitch, we were disciplined, and that's exactly what we'd like to do again tomorrow. Lille don't like to press their opponents high up the pitch, at least I'm not expecting that, even if we have to prepare for everything. I'm certain Lille will want to show all their quality against us, so we have to prepare for every scenario possible."