Paris Saint-Germain manager Christophe Galtier has backed his players to step up their game ahead of their Champions League round of 16 first-leg clash against Bayern Munich tomorrow night.
PSG have not been at their sparkling best in recent games, having won just two of their last five games in all competitions.
However, Galtier believes neither side are the favourites for the blockbuster clash and has backed his team to raise their game on the biggest stage.
“Already, the team of tomorrow will look nothing like the group that moved to Monaco,” Galtier told reporters via L’Equipe. “Then, almost all of my players are used to these big meetings.
“Admittedly, we have a quality opponent, but in these major meetings my players know how to raise their level of play, their standards, and their application.”
Galtier received a massive boost during the week with star forwards Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe returning to the fold after an injury lay-off.
It remains to be seen if Mbappe will start against Bayern having just rejoined the team, but Galtier insists the striker is not just in the squad to make up the numbers.
“Kylian trained individually yesterday [Sunday] and today [Monday] collectively,” he added. “I didn’t think Kylian was going to train individually yesterday.
“As to whether he can be on the scoresheet, that’s not sure yet. We will review tomorrow morning. The first questions will be asked to Kylian about his feelings.
“If he is on the match sheet, it will be to play. He will not make an appearance on the sidelines.”
PSG head into the game off the back of consecutive defeats against Olympique Marseille in the Coupe de France and AS Monaco in the league.
They were without Mbappe and Messi in the defeat to Monaco, and Galtier feels confident the return of the duo will boost their chances of victory.
When asked if Bayern are the favourites for the clash, Galtier said: “No. It’s 50-50. Obviously, if we analyse the results and the stats, we can think so. But it’s a Champions League match – my players are used to these meetings.
“Already, at the end of the match, there will be no qualified. Although we know that Bayern had a difficult post-World Cup period since then they have been performing well. We don’t for various reasons. But I have a much more complete squad tomorrow than the previous matches.”
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