Paris Saint-Germain coach Luis Enrique said on Tuesday that he expects Kylian Mbappe to be unhindered by a recent ankle knock when his side face Real Sociedad in their Champions League last-16 first leg. Mbappe was rested for PSG’s Ligue 1 win over Lille at the weekend to make sure he was fully fit for Wednesday’s clash against La Real at the Parc des Princes. “When a team has a player at the level of Kylian Mbappe, the more he plays, the better it is for the team,” Luis Enrique told a pre-match press conference.
“He could have played four days ago but it wasn’t worth the risk.”
PSG are bidding to avoid a third consecutive last-16 exit from the Champions League.
Mbappe has scored 30 goals for the club in all competitions this season and teammate Fabian Ruiz is confident he will be raring to go.
“I am sure Mbappe is going to have a great match,” said Spain midfielder Ruiz.
“He received a knock but he trained yesterday and today he is in good shape to play.”
Mbappe is out of contract with the French champions in June and has been heavily linked with finally making a move to Real Madrid.
But Luis Enrique refused to consider whether the match against Sociedad could prove to be Mbappe’s last Champions League game at the Parc des Princes.
“Potential last game? No. That’s not the way I feel it and therefore I feel neither joy nor sadness, it’s business as usual,” he said.
Real Sociedad are aiming to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 1983 after finishing top of Group D ahead of Inter Milan.
Former Real Betis player Ruiz warned PSG not to underestimate their opponents after avoiding Manchester City, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in the draw despite finishing second in their group behind Borussia Dortmund.
“I am quite familiar with Real Sociedad. They are an organised team, they exert a lot of pressure and like to have the ball and use counter-pressing, and they do it very well,” he said.
“Tomorrow is a very important match for us but the atmosphere in the group remains the same — there is excitement but at the same time we remain calm and focused.”
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