Thomas Tuchel is looking forward to what he expects will be an intense Classique between Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille in Ligue 1.
With a strong five-point lead at the top of Ligue 1, Tuchel and PSG will play host to rivals Marseille in another Classique on Sunday in Paris.
The Parisians are on the roll right now, and hope to make it six wins in all competitions this weekend. They’ve also defeated Marseille in their last four encounters, with the Olympians on an 18-match winless run against their big rivals.
And Tuchel will likely welcome back Kylian Mbappe to the line-up after the striker’s stunning hat-trick during a 38-minute cameo as PSG thrashed Club Brugge 5-0 in the Champions League midweek.
“I expect an intense game because it’s a Classique. It’s a special match, a special atmosphere,” said Tuchel, according to FourFourTwo.
“We like that. We have to be ready for the challenge, ready for that intensity.
“It’s a special game, like a Champions League match or a cup tie. I’m looking forward to it, for sure.
“It’s also a special game for us, the staff. We feel it in the hours leading up to the game, in the coach…Everyone is talking about this game.
“You can’t have too much emotion, you have to stay calm. Having said that, it’s not possible to play without emotions. It’s not a match like the others. There’s a great history which it is absolutely necessary to respect.”
The PSG boss Tuchel added: “We’re leaders, they’re fourth, but that’s not important. It’s a good opportunity for Marseille.
“They’ll give their all to get a good result. We’ll have to be ready for that. We have the quality and experience for that. So we have to prepare for the game calmly in order to be ready.”
Neymar, Thilo Kehrer, Idrissa Gueye and Thomas Meunier will all continue to remain sidelined for PSG this weekend.
However, Tuchel is hopeful that Ander Herrera and Julian Draxler will be available after returning to training earlier in the week.
The PSG and Marseille Classique begins at 21:00 (CET) on Sunday.