Kylian Mbappe has been included in the Paris Saint-Germain squad that will travel to England for Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final second-leg clash against Manchester City.
However, it remains to be seen if the influential French forward will be fit to feature at the Etihad Stadium due to a calf complaint that saw him omitted for Saturday’s 2-1 win over Lens in Ligue 1.
Mbappe was forced off late on with a thigh injury after scoring a brace in the 3-1 victory against Metz on April 24 and subsequently endured an uncharacteristically quiet first leg against City at the Parc des Princes, failing to muster a single shot in a European game that he has started for the very first time in his career.
The 22-year-old was largely held in check by another colossal performance from Ruben Dias as City recovered from Marquinhos’ early header to win 2-1 in Paris thanks to a Kevin De Bruyne cross that evaded everyone before drifting beyond Keylor Navas and Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick that went straight through a gap in the PSG wall.
PSG’s chances of overturning such a deficit will be dealt a sizable blow if Mbappe is unable to feature, though he is in the travelling squad confirmed on Monday and manager Mauricio Pochettino sounded optimism that he would be involved.
“Will Mbappe be there? I’m optimistic,” he said after the win over Lens.
“We think he will be there. We will see how it evolves tomorrow. We will decide before the match.”
Pochettino went with a front four consisting of Neymar, who played all but the final seconds, Julian Draxler, Mauro Icardi and Pablo Sarabia at the weekend, with Angel Di Maria left as an unused substitute with one eye on Tuesday night.
Di Maria will surely return against City, while the likes of Draxler and Icardi will be competing to join him if Mbappe is confined to the bench.
Navas should continue in goal, while Abdou Diallo playing 90 minutes against Lens suggests that 20-year-old Dutchman Mitchel Bakker will remain at left-back for PSG at the Etihad Stadium.
Will Kylian Mbappe be fit to start for PSG against Manchester City?
Like midfielder Leandro Paredes, Alessandro Florenzi was absent from the squad on Saturday, though both are thought to be fit, with the latter set to return at right-back as the established cental defensive partnership of captain Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe remains unchanged.
The likes of Danilo Pereira and Ander Herrera will hope to deputise for ex-Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye, who was sent off for a shocking challenge on Ilkay Gundogan in the first leg against City.
However, it could be that Pochettino – knowing that his side need a dominant attacking display on Tuesday – decides to move the versatile Verratti deeper and slot in someone like Draxler further forward.