PSG coach Enrique frets over the state of the field at Orleans before French Cup game

Fri, Jan 19, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

PSG coach Enrique frets over the state of the field at Orleans before French Cup game

PARIS (AP) - Paris Saint-Germain coach Luis Enrique is worried about the condition of the field for Saturday's game at Orleans in the French Cup.

Orleans plays in the third-tier National league and such a match would usually offer Enrique the chance to give his young players some valuable playing time. But he wants to view the surface before picking his side for the round of 32 match.

"I don't want to take any physical risks with the players. The level of investment the club puts is in very large and there's no reason to take risks," Enrique said Friday in his pre-game news conference. "It's the only thing that really worries me. I'm worried about the well-being of the players. If I take the experience of Clermont, the pitch was not in an ideal condition to play on."

Enrique's side drew 0-0 at Clermont in the French league on Sept. 30, with Enrique unhappy that the playing surface there had been changed shortly before the game.

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PSG has won the French Cup a record 14 times but not since 2021.

"(It) is a competition we very much like but which can be dangerous for the favorite teams," Enrique said. "There are many things to take into account."

He must decide whether to select or rest star striker Kylian Mbappe, who has 26 goals in 25 games overall this season.

Mbappe still has not said if he will leave the club or sign a new contract, with his current deal expiring in June.

Enrique, who is Spanish and usually speaks through a translator at his news conferences, replied in French with "C'est la vie" (That's life) when asked if Mbappe should announce his decision soon.

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