Sports - March 7, 2023

PSG can beat Bayern as ‘we have Mbappe’, says Galtier

Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier said on Tuesday the return to full fitness of Kylian Mbappe could see them past Bayern Munich and into the Champions League last eight..

MbapeePSG, still chasing a maiden Champions League title, need to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg on Wednesday at the Allianz Arena.

“We need to play more football than we did in the first leg. We have a gameplan and we have Kylian,” the 56-year-old said.

Mbappe came off the bench late in the first leg but has now fully recovered from a hamstring injury and will start against Bayern.

Mbappe has scored 30 goals in 30 matches in all competitions this season and became PSG’s all-time leading scorer last weekend with a late strike in a 4-2 win over Nantes.

“(Mbappe) gives us more scope to get in behind. We must also win the ball back much faster,” said Galtier.

Galtier, in his first season as PSG coach, said he “did not feel” the club’s season hinges on the result of Wednesday’s match.

“When you are in a very important competition one team will stay and one will go,” he added.

“The Champions League is always a big target here at the club. We have a desire, a determination to go as far as possible.”

Neymar is set to miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury.

Galtier hit back at statements made in the press that Neymar’s absence could help the team, calling the Brazilian’s injury “a big loss for the team”.

PSG though can count on the returning Nordi Mukiele, Achraf Hakimi and Marquinhos, with a decision on whether each will start or come off the bench to be made on Wednesday.

Asked if he agreed with Mbappe’s assessment that PSG are “always favourites”, midfielder Marco Verratti said the striker’s “confidence is a good sign”.

“Kylian is Kylian. We are lucky to have him here. He has a big personality and character, and we need players like him.

“There is a lot of pressure but we are used to playing big games at big stadiums with big players.”

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