Paris Saint-Germain entered the November international break in superb fashion as they registered an eight-straight Ligue 1 win on Saturday against Rennes.
The reigning champions won 3-0 against Rennes at Parc des Princes after a Moise Kean strike and a brace from Angel di Maria, who leapfrogged Safet Susic (85) to become the eight-highest scorer in the club’s history.
For the game, manager Thomas Tuchel was forced to name a weakened bench consisting of three academy graduates after as many as eight first-team regulars were unavailable due to injuries.
Tuchel could not count on the services of Neymar (adductor), Kylian Mbappe (thigh), Pablo Sarabria (muscle) and Mauro Icardi (knee) upfront while he was also without midfield duo Marco Verratti (muscle) and Julian Draxler (hamstring).
Elsewhere, centre-back Presnel Kimpembe was also sidelined for the encounter after picking up a foot injury in the midweek Champions League defeat at RB Leipzig while Juan Bernat remains a long-term absentee following a knee ligament surgery.
Di Maria’s return after a four-match domestic suspension came at the right time as he scored a brace on Saturday, but Tuchel will be worried with three more first-team players suffering setbacks.
Idrissa Gueye and Thilo Kehrer were substituted during the opening half with thigh and pelvic injuries respectively and Tuchel has acknowledged that the latter could be out for the long-term.
Elsewhere, the German head coach dismissed any setback for Alessandro Florenzi, who was substituted at the interval, but revealed that Kean was brought off at the hour mark after suffering multiple knocks.
“Alessandro is not injured. He was tired. Moise took a lot of knocks. Physically what he did was exceptional. I hope it’s not too severe for him. Gana hurt his thigh. Thilo has the same injury to his pelvis (as recently), which means it’s serious,” He told.
The international break has definitely come at the right time for the reigning Ligue 1 champions, considering they are currently without 10 of their first-team players.
A run of eight games in 22 days has taken its toll on the squad and Tuchel will be hoping that some of the injured players can return to training over the next fortnight.
Despite carrying injuries, both Neymar and Mbappe have been named in the Brazil and France squads for the upcoming internationals and Tuchel can only hope that they return unscathed, suppose they make the playing field.
Les Parisiens are top of the league standings with 24 points, five ahead of Lille, who have a game in hand. In the Champions League, however, they are third in Group H with a three-point deficit to both Manchester United and RB Leipzig.
The club have already made their worst start to a Champions League season in 16 years and they find themselves in a situation where they may need to win their remaining three group stage games to reach the round of 16.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com