Presnel Kimpembe PSG

Thomas Tuchel has trusted centre-back Presnel Kimpembe with a leadership role at Paris Saint-Germain after the departures of Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani.

Kimpembe has been trusted to captain the team in the absence of regular skipper Marquinhos in Ligue 1 and Champions League matches this year.

The German coach said that the France international has joined a group of leaders within the squad.

“Today, Presnel Kimpembe and Keylor Navas are in this group,” Tuchel said when asked during a press conference how his most trusted players have changed this season.

“Otherwise it’s the same group as last season with Marquinhos, Kylian Mbappeand Marco Verratti. I can talk about more or less important things. We talk regularly, they speak for the team.”

PSG take on Istanbul Basaksehir on Tuesday in Champions League and need just a point to book their place in the last 16.

The Ligue 1 champions are in pole position to progress to the knockout stages after victories over RB Leipzig and Manchester United in their previoustwo games.

They havewon five of their last six matches at the Parc des Princes in the Champions League and will be confident of seeing off their Turkish opponents, who have conceded four goals in each of their last two games in the competition.

But the coach says his playerswill do everything they can to seal a win that would see them top their group for a fourth consecutive season.

“The first goal is to win and we don’t want to think about anything else,” said the PSG boss.

“I want us to show the same respect to the game and to the opponent as the last games.First, we have to do everything to win.

“We must respect the game and Basaksehir. It’s the Champions League and easy matches don’t exist.

“The most important thing is that we use our qualities and our brains to play the matchat 100 per cent.

“We have to defend with a lot of energy. I ask for the same energy and effort as against Manchester United.

“We can’t give the opponent the slightest space as they are capable of making very dangerous counter-attacks. It’s a third final and we will prepare the team to win this third consecutive final.

“If we finish first,that will give us the opportunity to play away first and then the second game at home in the last 16.”

Tuchel confirmed Juan Bernat (knee), Mauro Icardi (groin) and Pablo Sarabia (hamstring) will miss Tuesday’sclash, but he confirmed Julian Draxler is likely toreturn after recovering from a thigh injury.

Should Draxler play, he couldline-up alongside Rafinha, who has impressed Tuchel since his move from Barcelona in October, having made two assists in six Ligue 1 games.

“I have always been a fan of his, he is exceptional,” Tuchel said. “He has always played giving everything for the team and he has all the qualities to play in our team.

“He had a lot of bad luck with his injuries, but I’m not surprised. Everything I expect from a Barcelona player I can see with him. He is humble, super pleasant and he always has a smile in training.

“He always thinks of the team. He has technical and tactical qualities. Now the challenge is to keep him in good shape.


Source : goal.com