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PSG sweating over Kylian Mbappe fitness for Man City semi-final

PSG sweating over Kylian Mbappe fitness for Man City semi-final
© Reuters
The France striker has a calf injury and will be assessed before the Champions League semi-final second leg at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.

Paris St Germain will make a late decision on Kylian Mbappe’s fitness for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Manchester City.

The World Cup-winning France striker is a doubt for Tuesday’s encounter at the Etihad Stadium with a calf problem.

Losing one of their headline stars would be a huge blow for Mauricio Pochettino’s side as they bid to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit to reach the final in Istanbul.

Manager Pochettino said at his pre-match press conference: “We need to assess Kylian. Today (Monday) he is going to start an individual training session and see if he can be with the team.

“There is still one day and we will see and decide if he is going to be available. We will take the decision tomorrow (Tuesday).”

PSG dominated the first half of the first leg at the Parc des Princes but failed to make the most of their early superiority and were punished as City hit back after the break.

Expecting another strong showing from City this time, Pochettino has stressed the importance of taking any chances that come.

Pochettino says PSG will wait until the day of the game to make a decision on Mbappe
Pochettino says PSG will wait until the day of the game to make a decision on Mbappe (Julien Poupert/PA)

The former Tottenham boss said: “We need to be ready to suffer in some parts of the game and, when we have our chances, we need to be clinical and aggressive.

“It’s a game, 90 minutes, and we need to finish scoring twice. We need two goals if we want to go through to the final. That’s the objective and we’re going to try.

“They have an advantage, 2-1, and we need to take a risk. We need to be brave, be clever, believe and show our quality on the pitch.”

Pochettino has no doubt his players will be ready for the challenge.

The Argentinian said: “The motivation in this kind of game, semi-finals of the Champions League – ‘Houston we have a problem’ if we need to motivate our players.

“It is going to be a battle but, most importantly, we will be ready. Players love to play these type of games. No-one wants to be out. They all want to be involved.”

Pochettino was manager of the Spurs side that famously came from behind to beat Ajax in Amsterdam in the semi-finals in 2019.

“That was two years ago,” he said. “There is nothing similar, the approach will be different.”

Pochettino (centre) famously guided Spurs to the final with victory over Ajax two years ago
Pochettino (centre) famously guided Spurs to the final with victory over Ajax two years ago (Adam Davy/PA)

Meanwhile, PSG have learned midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye will be suspended for the final if they get through.

The former Everton player received an automatic one-match ban – ruling him out of Tuesday’s game – after his sending off in the first leg against City last week.

UEFA has now announced the suspension has been extended to two matches for “serious rough play” following a disciplinary hearing.

European football’s governing body has also confirmed PSG have been fined £26,000 for delaying the kick-off last week.

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