Paris Saint-Germain boss Christophe Galtier has backed the fit-again Kylian Mbappe to turn tonight’s Champions League tie against Bayern Munich on its head, admitting Neymar’s absence makes his side “more balanced”.
The Ligue 1 side travel to Germany needing to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit to reach the quarter-finals.
Mbappe was only able to make a half-hour cameo off the bench in the defeat in Paris last month having raced back from a hamstring problem, but has since scored five times in three League starts.
We need to play more football than we did in the first leg. We have a gameplan and we have Kylian," Galtier said. "He gives us more scope to get in behind. We must also win the ball back much faster.”
Mbappe has insisted this week that his future does not depend on tonight’s result, with PSG still chasing a first Champions League crown having been beaten by Bayern in the 2020 final.
“If I linked my future to the Champions League, without wishing to show a lack of respect to the club, I would have left a long time ago," the 24-year-old said. “I don’t think this match will have an impact. I am here and I am very happy to be here. I am not thinking about anything other than making PSG successful."
Neymar, meanwhile, will miss the fixture having been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering ankle ligament damage in last month’s dramatic 4-3 win over Lille.
"It’s a loss, clearly,” said Galtier. “Is the team more balanced? Yes. Is it better like this? I will say that having him is better to score goals.”