PSG coach pessimistic over Mbappe for Atalanta tie

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PSG coach Thomas Tuchel at Parc des Princes for Wednesday's Champions League warm-up friendly against Sochaux. —AFP/VNA Photo

Football

PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel fears Kylian Mbappe will lose his battle to be fit for next week's Champions League quarter-final against Atalanta.

The PSG star was left with a sprained right ankle after a crunching challenge in the French Cup final win over Saint Etienne on July 24.

"I've seen Kylian every day at the training centre, he's almost working 24 hours a day with the physios, but it's really short," said Tuchel on Wednesday.

"We've decided to assess with the doctor on Saturday to see if it's possible he could be on the bench against Atalanta, but I'm not expecting too much."

The World Cup-winning superstar's absence would be a huge blow to the Qatari-owned club who take on the Italians in Lisbon next Wednesday after claiming a domestic treble.

In another setback Tuchel could be without midfielder Marco Verratti, who has reportedly injured his calf in training, but on a more positive note he is hopeful "key player" Juan Bernat may play some part in their first Champions League quarter-final in four years.

Tuchel was speaking ahead of a warm-up friendly for next week's one-off game behind closed dooors in Lisbon with Neymar one of a cluster of headline players given the night off. — AFP

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