PSG travel to face Toulouse with only 14 fit outfield players
Paris St Germain boss Thomas Tuchel is braced for a tough test at Ligue 1 rivals Toulouse as a string of injuries threaten to undermine his plans.
Tuchel’s runaway leaders, 20 points clear at the top, bid for an eighth straight league win on Sunday at Stadium TFC, but will be without half a dozen of their star names.
“There are a lot of players missing for this trip to Toulouse,” said Tuchel, who has just 14 outfield players to choose from.
“Julian Draxler, Angel Di Maria, Edinson Cavani, Neymar, Thomas Meunier and Dani Alves are injured, so I only have a reduced squad available.
“I have 14 players and two goalkeepers. I have faith in my squad all the same. We’re going to do good things, even if it’s not easy to work with such a diminished squad.”
PSG racked up a seventh successive league win with a victory over top-four side Marseille in their previous match, but Tuchel said it has been difficult for his players to readjust after the international break.
“A league game at Toulouse just after an international break is always going to be tough,” he told a press conference.
“Not only because of the players who are out, but also because the players have to get back into the groove and the style of the team after playing for their countries.
“But I’m confident because we had a good training session on Friday with a lot of quality. We still have one more session before going to Toulouse where I hope we’ll win.”
Toulouse, who won a relegation play-off last season to retain their top-flight status, are 10 points clear of the bottom three after taking six points from their last six games.
They drew 1-1 at Nice before the international break and head coach Alain Casanova will be without striker Corentin Jean (knee) and midfielder Hakim El Mokeddem (hamstring).
Goalkeeper Mauro Goicoechea (knee) and winger Mathieu Dossevi (muscle strain) are both doubtful.
“In front of prestigious opponents, of very high level, these are matches that all the players, all the coaches want to play,” Casanova told a press conference.
“Football is one of the only team sports where a small kid can beat a big one. It will be very difficult, but they can have an off day.”