Mbappe back for PSG Champions League tie with Real Sociedad

Kylian Mbappe set to return for PSG in Champions League last 16 tie against Real Sociedad.

Published : Feb 13, 2024 19:02 IST - 2 MINS READ

Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappe during training.
Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappe during training. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappe during training. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Kylian Mbappe sat out Paris St Germain’s Ligue 1 game at the weekend, but its top scorer is set to return for the Champions League last 16 tie with Real Sociedad, manager Luis Enrique said on Tuesday.

Mbappe, who has scored 30 goals in 29 games this season, was an unused substitute in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Lille, a precaution taken after he took a knock to his ankle three days previously in another 3-1 win, over Brest in the Coup de France.

The French forward has played the full 90 minutes in all six Champions League games this season for PSG and that doesn’t look like changing when it hosts the Spanish side in Wednesday’s first leg.

“When a team has a player like Kylian Mbappe, of course we know that the more he plays the better, because we all benefit from that,” Luis Enrique told a press conference.

“There is no doubt about it. He could have played (on Saturday) if it had been a final, but it wasn’t, it was not worth the risk. Kylian Mbappe is available, just like the other players.”

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The manager could afford to rest Mbappe in the league, where PSG now has an 11 point advantage at the top over Nice, and has gone 16 games unbeaten, but in the Champions League it hasn’t all been plain sailing.

PSG finished second in the group behind Borussia Dortmund and lost to Newcastle United and AC Milan. It is also without a win in the last three games in the competition, a sharp contrast to Real Sociedad.

Real may be struggling domestically, seventh in La Liga, but it topped its Champions League group, which included Inter Milan, and is undefeated in Europe this season.

“Real Sociedad have a tight defence in the Champions League, they don’t give the ball away easily. We have to press them aggressively,” Luis Enrique said.

“They are certainly one of the best teams in the competition, that is why they qualified as group winners. They were in a group with last year’s finalists.”

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