Tuchel wants PSG to keep Champions League intensity
Paris St Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has told his players to be braced for another Champions League-level match when they face Lyon on Sunday.
Tuchel’s side sent ripples across Europe in midweek with their 3-0 demolition of Real Madrid – a result which led to speculation that Zinedine Zidane is fighting for his job in the Spanish capital – but attention now turns to a key Ligue 1 encounter.
Lyon go into the weekend down in eighth place with eight points from their opening five games, but Tuchel believes that undersells their quality.
“It is very demanding to play against Real Madrid, physically and mentally,” he said. “It is important to refocus because it will be very difficult tomorrow.
“We have to play at our best level. We are expecting to face OL in top form. This is a great opportunity for them to show they are capable of doing better than their last few matches.
“The atmosphere is not easy, it’s a big challenge. After Real Madrid, this is like another Champions League match.
“Everyone wants to play. It will create a special atmosphere. It is necessary to grow, to improve.
“I am sure we can win, but I am sure it will be difficult.”
PSG continue to be troubled by a lengthy injury list.
Tuchel indicated Kylian Mbappe is close to a return, but this game will come too soon as he remains on the sidelines along with Edinson Cavani, Thilo Kehrer, Colin Dagba, Julian Draxler, Mauro Icardi and Pablo Sarabia.
While PSG dismantled Madrid, Lyon were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Zenit St Petersburg in their Champions League opener – in keeping with their slightly stuttering start to the campaign.
Things will certainly not get any easier on Sunday night, even if they are at home.
“PSG are favourites to win Ligue 1, but we are motivated,” said coach Sylvinho. “We want to play this kind of match.
“We know that it will be very difficult. Even if Real Madrid had won, we would not be favourites.
“Clubs like PSG play the Champions League to win it. Paris will certainly come to play their game and it is up to us to do better.”
Tuchel too acknowledged that his team would be favourites despite playing away from home, but said that did not concern him.
“I put the highest pressure on us possible, we always want to be perfect,” he said.
“It gives us confidence. We have put in a lot of effort offensively and defensively. My players are very confident.
“Everyone expects the same thing – that we win in Lyon. At a club like ours, that’s life.”