Tuchel unfazed as PSG welcome Toulouse
Neymar Jr. sidelined; points dropped against Stade Rennais FC, but Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel is refusing to worry with the champions hosting Toulouse FC on Sunday.
Paris Saint-Germain - Toulouse FC
PSG opened their 2019-20 Ligue 1 Conforama campaign in style, easing past Nîmes Olympique 3-0 having beaten Rennes 2-1 in the Trophée des Champions the previous week. The Bretons got revenge on Sunday, though, running out 2-1 winners at Roazhon Park with 16-year-old midfielder Eduardo Camavinga in particular impressing.
Paris, who took until December last season to drop their first points, were without Neymar for the second week running, but Tuchel remains upbeat about his side, and the Brazil star's place within it.
"It was a difficult game but we expected it to be," the German tactician said at his post-match press conference. "We could've won as well. I don't think there's a psychological problem. We didn't get asked this after the Trophée des Champions or the game against Nîmes. Last year we won everything and there were some games we were lucky to win.
Watch: Highlights of PSG's 2-1 loss to Rennes
"As for Neymar, unless we sign someone else he won't leave. That's clear. If he stays we have a player who can help us win games. We can play better than we did today, but we were also missing [Thilo] Kehrer, [Ander] Herrera, Neymar and [Presnel] Kimpembe. We need to remain patient and confident. We can't question everything after one bad result."
None of the four aforementioned players are expected to be fit for Sunday, with Kehrer's foot, Herrera's calf and Kimpembe's groin seeing them remain at the Camp des Loges with Neymar, who is shaking off an ankle injury.
Senegal midfielder Idrissa Gueye is pushing for his debut having travelled with his teammates for the Rennes game. His inclusion could see Marquinhos drop back into defence, with Thiago Silva or Thomas Meunier rested.
Sunday's visitors have had plenty of defensive reshuffling of their own to do lately. Le Téfécé seemed covered following Christopher Jullien's move to Celtic, with Gen Shoji and Agustin Rogel drafted in, but the former has a groin strain, the latter a broken collarbone that requires surgery.
Watch: Highlights of Toulous'es 1-0 win over Dijon
Right-back Kelvin Amian was paired with 19-year-old Bafodé Diakité in Saturday's 1-0 win over Dijon FCO, but Wednesday's loan acquisition of Nicolas Isimat-Mirin from Besiktas could see a change, with coach Alain Casanova significantly less impressed with his side's performance than their result.
'Still have to work'
"Our first half was poor compared to how we wanted to play," he explained. "We were too wait-and-see. It's also my fault. In the second half we never let our level drop, we absolutely wanted all three points, and on the whole, I think the win was deserved. There was some interesting things but we still have to work hard."
Jullian's successor as club captain Max Gradel this week reiterated his belief in the Toulouse project. They begin the weekend a point better off than PSG, but without injured striker Corentin Jean, who has a cruciate ligament injury. Jean-Victor Makengo - the scorer against Dijon - is expected to be fit despite coming off with a knock on 77 minutes.
PSG: Aréola; Marquinhos; Silva, Diallo, Bernat; Draxler, Gueye, Verratti; Sarabia, Cavani, Mbappé
Toulouse: Reynet; Amian, Diakité, Isimat-Mirin, Sylla; Sangaré, Vainqueur; Dossevi, Makengo, Gradel; Koulouris