Tuchel: 'Up for the occasion'
On the eve of the UEFA Champions League last-16 second leg against Borussia Dortmund, at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday, Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel looked ahead to the match.
Coach, how is the squad going on the eve of the return leg against Borussia Dortmund?
"Kylian Mbappé is sick. He has a sore throat and we'll see if he can train a bit this Tuesday evening, but he hasn't been with us for two days. We'll wait and see and decide on Wednesday morning. Thiago Silva has done all the training, so we'll decide tomorrow whether he plays or not, but he's with the squad. Everyone else is here except Ander Herrera. The starting eleven? I have made up my mind. We have to decide this afternoon who will be the starting eleven and who will be the substitutes. We'll make final decisions on Kylian and Thiago tomorrow morning."
Preparations for the match have been hectic...
"The fact that we couldn't play in Strasbourg was bad news. We flew to Strasbourg and we couldn't play for our last test before Borussia Dortmund. It wasn't a problem for us to play this match on Saturday. We would not have had any difficulty to play in terms of intensity. But now it's another strange situation because we're playing without our spectators. In a match of this importance, they are very important to create a special atmosphere, tension, pressure on our opponent. With what's happening between coronavirus and Kylian Mbappé's illness, we have to adapt and think. At the same time, it's a football match and we're capable of adapting, I'm confident."
How are you approaching the match?
"A 1-0 win is enough for us to go through, but I have the impression that we're not a team that just wins 1-0. We like to attack and score as many goals as possible. But if at the final whistle, we win 1-0, I will be the happiest person and not have any regrets. We will try to do more."
What do you think about this Borussia side?
"They have played their most recent matches with more or less the same starting XI, the same formation, the same structure and we have analysed them well. I think we're in better form now than we were then. We have more players in form, even if we didn't play against Strasbourg. It's a shame but we made up for it by training hard, maximum intensity. Borussia Dortmund are a very dangerous side with a lot of speed on the counterattack and in transition. We need to play very intelligently."