Mauricio Pochettino described getting the job as Paris Saint-Germain coach as a present from Father Christmas, however his first sport in cost, with Neymar absent, indicated that not all the pieces will probably be easy for the Argentine.
Pochettino’s first dwelling sport as coach comes on Saturday when PSG tackle Brest following their 1-1 draw with Saint-Etienne in midweek, a consequence which left the reigning champions three factors behind leaders Lyon on the prime of Ligue 1.
Absent since being stretchered off within the defeat towards Lyon in December, Neymar may return this weekend, though PSG produce other damage issues to take care of and at present look a way in need of being real contenders to win the Champions League.
In addition to the world’s most costly participant, PSG have been with out the likes of Presnel Kimpembe, Juan Bernat, Alessandro Florenzi, Leandro Paredes, Danilo Pereira and Mauro Icardi in midweek.
By the point PSG play Barcelona within the Champions League final 16, first leg on February 16, Pochettino will hope to have the vast majority of his different crocked gamers obtainable once more, and he’ll hope to have stamped his mark on his new aspect.
“Some extent isn’t sufficient, however within the circumstances we’ve got to accept it,” mentioned the previous Tottenham Hotspur coach on the finish of his first sport after greater than a 12 months out of soccer.
“There are quite a lot of facets we have to work on if we wish to obtain nice issues in Paris.
“I’m not nervous. We do not have a lot time, however there’s plenty of high quality within the workforce.”
Throughout his outing of the sport, Pochettino had been linked within the English media with a doable transfer to one of many Premier League’s giants have been a job to grow to be obtainable, corresponding to at Manchester United.
However his previous as a participant at PSG, coupled with a status that has remained sky-high throughout his outing of the limelight, made it no nice shock to see him find yourself on the Parc des Princes.
“I’m pleased after 14 months with out something,” he mentioned after making his return to a dugout, albeit in these stark occasions of soccer with out followers as a result of coronavirus pandemic.
“It is usually a weird feeling with out supporters. It was unusual. I had by no means skilled that earlier than. There may be a lot much less heat.”
Participant to look at: Memphis Depay
There may be nonetheless an opportunity that Depay will depart Lyon earlier than the January switch window closes. A transfer to Barcelona fell by means of in October and he’s out of contract on the finish of the season, however Lyon followers will probably be hoping he stays till then to proceed main their title bid.
With the captain’s armband on, the Dutchman scored twice in Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Lens which left OL three factors away from PSG on the prime of the desk. He has scored 10 occasions this season, and afterwards he mentioned: “Let’s simply profit from my presence right here, possibly till the tip of the season. Now we have an incredible workforce. That is all I’ve to say.”
Lyon go to fourth-placed Rennes on Saturday.
15 – League leaders Lyon are unbeaten in 15 matches and have gained 10 of their final 12.
10 – Mauricio Pochettino is the tenth man to teach PSG having beforehand performed for the membership. The final was Antoine Kombouare, who was additionally the primary of the Qatar period however was sacked in December 2011, inside six months of the takeover.
10 – The variety of seconds required by Monaco’s Aleksandr Golovin to attain towards Lorient on Wednesday having come off the bench for his first look since August after damage.
Saturday (All kick-offs 2000 GMT)
Bordeaux v Lorient, Dijon v Marseille, Lens v Strasbourg, Metz v Good, Monaco v Angers, Montpellier v Nantes, Nimes v Lille, Paris Saint-Germain v Brest, Reims v Saint-Etienne, Rennes v Lyon