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Sport

PSG must compensate for Mbappe, Neymar absence with team spirit, says Tuchel

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Nantes v Paris St Germain - The Stade de la Beaujoire - Louis Fonteneau, Nantes, France - October 31, 2020 Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

LEIPZIG, Germany (Reuters) - Paris St Germain coach Thomas Tuchel asked his team to show collective strength to make up for the absence of starting players including Kylian Mbappe and Neymar when the French champions face RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday.

PSG face Leipzig away, after an opening defeat to Manchester United at the Parc des Princes and an away win at Istanbul Basaksehir, without their two top strikers as well as forward Mauro Icardi as they have been hit by a string of injuries. Midfielders Marco Verratti and Julian Draxler have also been ruled out.

“We’re missing several key players. We’re not happy about it but we’re not sad either. We’re going to try to cope without them and play as a team,” Tuchel told a news conference.

“We’ll try to make more efforts as a team, with a better collective mindset. We have to grow together in this situation. We’re going to find a starting 11 and we’re going to have to show that we can fight together. It’s necessary.”

Angel Di Maria is expected to start alongside Pablo Sarabia and Moise Kean, who has scored four goals in his last two appearances.

Earlier on Tuesday, PSG said that Mbappe would miss the game due to a hamstring problem.

Mbappe, 21, sustained the injury during Saturday’s 3-0 Ligue 1 victory against Nantes and was withdrawn towards the closing stages of the match.

“After going off during the game against Nantes with a right hamstring problem, Mbappe’s not available for the trip to Germany and the situation will be reassessed in 48 hours,” PSG said in a statement.

Writing by Julien Pretot in Paris and Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Hugh Lawson

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