Return of injured trio gives PSG's Pochettino options in Lyon hunt
Paris Saint-Germain’s new head coach Maurcio Pochettino was buoyed on Friday by the return from injury of first team regulars Mauro Icardi, Layvin Kurzawa and Alessandro Floreniz as the French champions try to rein in Rudi Garcia's rampaging Lyon side.
The troika are expected to feature in the squad for Saturday’s match against Brest at the Parc des Princes.
Icardi has been sidelined with a knee injury since a 2-2 draw at Bordeaux on 28 November.
Defenders Florenzi and Kurzawa have both been absent after suffering knocks during the 0-0 stalemate at Lille on 20 December.
🎙 Conférence de presse de Mauricio Pochettino avant Paris Saint-Germain - Stade Brestois 29 🔴🔵 https://t.co/TrBdDggUdp— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside) January 8, 2021
Ahead of his first home match as coach, the former PSG defender said: “Brest is a tough team. It’s going to be a competitive game as they are doing really well.
“But we need to think how we are going to compete. It’s obviously tough for the players to adapt to what we have been telling them over the past couple of days. But I am very happy with their efforts and their attitude and their will.
"I think with all these ingredients I think we’ll be able to quickly build up to the performances that I want.’
Wednesday night’s point at Saint-Etienne allowed PSG to move up a place to second ahead of Lille on goal difference.
However, Lyon extended their lead over their rivals to three points following a Memphis Depay inspired 3-2 success over Lens.
It was Lyon's 11th victory in 18 games.
"Lens was the first game after the holidays," said Lyon defender Marcelo. "I think it was physically difficult. The important thing was the victory and nothing else."
On Saturday, Marcelo and his teammates face a tricky trip to fourth placed Rennes.
"We are happy to be first," he added. "We must continue with the same mentality and the same ambition. The championship is long and each match is important."
🎙 @MarceloGuedes02 en conférence de presse, veille de #SRFCOL "On est heureux d'être premier. On doit continuer avec la même mentalité et la même ambition. Le championnat est long, chaque match est important" pic.twitter.com/FiHjUYo3TJ— Olympique Lyonnais (@OL) January 8, 2021
Lille travel to bottom of the table Nimes who have conceded 39 goals in their 18 games this season.
Fifth-placed Marseille will also be expected to collect three points. Andre-Villas Boas’ side will play at third-from-bottom Dijon.
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