October 21, 2019 / 7:02 PM / 4 months ago

Mbappe not ready for 90 minutes in Champions League, says Tuchel

BRUGES, Belgium (Reuters) - Kylian Mbappe will either start or come on as an impact player for Paris St Germain but he will not play the full 90 minutes in Tuesday’s Champions League match against Club Brugge, coach Thomas Tuchel said on Monday.

Soccer Football - Champions League - Paris St Germain Training - Jan Breydel Stadium, Bruges, Belgium - October 21, 2019 Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe during training REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The 20-year-old World Cup winner has been involved in limited action this season because of a thigh injury and his return to full fitness is still being monitored by the club.

“I think 90 minutes is too much for Kylian Mbappe. It is the same for Edi (Edison Cavani),” Tuchel told a pre-match media conference.

PSG’s 32-year-old Uruguayan striker has battled with a hip problem this season and has played sparingly.

Asked about the team selection, Tuchel said: “I have some ideas, there’s a lot going on in my head. But I haven’t yet figured out the starting 11.

“I’m really happy that Kylian and Edi are back. They were out for a long time.”

PSG will be without Neymar, who was injured while playing for Brazil in Singapore last week, Julian Draxler and former Everton midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye for the Group A game in Belgium.

“We will miss Idrissa a lot, he has brought something extraordinary to our team. But Ander Herrera and Pablo Sarabia are capable replacements at this level. I haven’t decided yet whether to play two or three in middle,” said Tuchel.

PSG could take a giant step towards qualification with an away victory to keep up their 100 percent run in Group A.

Before the campaign started, Brugge would have been seen as the whipping boys of the group but are second in the standings, ahead of Real Madrid and Galatasaray.

“I don’t rank the opponents in order of difficulty. It’s the Champions League. Nothing is easy in this competition. It will be a big fight,” added Tuchel.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Pritha Sarkar

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