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Mbappe on bench for PSG against Atalanta in Champions League

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Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe leaves the hotel in Lisbon, on August 12, 2020, to go to Luz Stadium to play UEFA Champions League quarter-final football match between Atalanta and Paris Saint-Germain (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Kylian Mbappe will start Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League quarter-final against Atalanta in Lisbon on Wednesday as a substitute after battling to shake off an ankle injury.

The France World Cup-winning forward had been in a race against time to recover for the game at the Estadio da Luz after being hurt in a crunching tackle in the French Cup final against Saint-Etienne on July 24.

However, he returned to collective training at the weekend and PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said on Tuesday that Mbappe would be available to play a part at the end of the game against the Italians.

Mauro Icardi and Pablo Sarabia will start up front ahead of Neymar, while Marquinhos will be flanked by Ander Herrera and Idrissa Gana Gueye in the French champions’ midfield.

PSG are without the injured Marco Verratti and the suspended Angel Di Maria as they look to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 1995.

Atalanta are in their first ever Champions League campaign.

They knocked out Valencia in the last 16 in March, just before the coronavirus pandemic forced football around the world to stop.

Josip Ilicic scored all of the Italians’ goals in their 4-3 win in Valencia in the second leg of that tie, but the Slovenian is sidelined here due to personal problems.

Alejandro Dario ‘Papu’ Gomez and Mario Pasalic will play in support of the Colombian Duvan Zapata up front for the Italians.

Habitual back-up Marco Sportiello starts in goal with first-choice Pierluigi Gollini absent.

Starting line-ups in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final between Atalanta and Paris Saint-Germain (kick-off 1900 GMT):

Atalanta (3-4-2-1)

Marco Sportiello; Rafael Toloi, Mattia Caldara, Berat Djimsiti; Hans Hateboer, Marten de Roon, Remo Freuler, Robin Gosens; Mario Pasalic, Alejandro Dario Gomez (capt); Duvan Zapata

Coach: Gian Piero Gasperini (ITA)

Paris Saint-Germain (4-3-1-2)

Keylor Navas; Thilo Kehrer, Thiago Silva (capt), Presnel Kimpembe, Juan Bernat; Ander Herrera, Marquinhos, Idrissa Gana Gueye; Neymar; Mauro Icardi, Pablo Sarabia

Coach: Thomas Tuchel (GER)

Referee: Anthony Taylor (ENG)


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