Pochettino ‘optimistic’ for Mbappe as Neymar nets in crucial PSG victory

Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino is confident Kylian Mbappe will be fit to face Manchester City on Tuesday after the France striker was forced to watch from the stands as Neymar scored one goal and set up the other in a vital 2-1 win over Lens in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Neymar netted in the 33th minute and his corner was headed home by Marquinhos just prior to the hour mark at the Parc des Princes, with Cameroonian forward Ignatius Ganago pulling a goal back for Lens.

It was a huge three points for PSG in its attempt to retain the Ligue 1 title.

Mbappe was reduced to the role of spectator because of a calf problem, while Angel Di Maria was also left out of the starting XI as Pochettino made six changes to his team from Wednesday’s 2-1 home defeat against City in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal.

“I am always optimistic and I still am,” Pochettino told Canal Plus when asked if he expected Mbappe to play. “We think he will be there, but we will make a decision before the game.”

PSG is looking to win its eighth Ligue 1 title in nine years.


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