Paris Saint Germain could be without talisman Kylian Mbappe for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final clash with Manchester City.
The Frenchman is set to face a let fitness test after missing out in Saturday’s victory over Lens due to a calf issue.
Should Mbappe be unavailable, he will be a huge miss for PSG who must recover a 2-1 deficit after they were beaten impressively in Paris.
He makes up for 29 per cent of the French champions’ 128 goals in all competitions, finding the net 37 times in 43 appearances with eight of these coming in the Champions League.
If Pochettino’s side are to progress to their second Champions League final in as many years, it would take a repeat of the Argentine’s monumental comeback with Tottenham Hotspur against Ajax in 2019.
City though, will certainly be no pushovers as they look to make it to their first European Cup final in 51 years. Unlike PSG, Pep Guardiola will possess his full complement of players with Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin de Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias and Phil Foden all available after being rested for City’s 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Despite the huge magnitude of the match, Guardiola said, speaking to ManCity.com, that he will just treat it as ‘another game.’
“Now we arrive in a good moment. I said to the guys don’t think too much to win the game.
“The same message we have done for the last six or seven months is the same message for tomorrow.
“We approach the game with a small advantage and we have to play to win the game. This is what we will do,” said the Spaniard, who has twice won the Champions League as a manager with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011.
Despite Guardiola remaining coy on City’s chances of lifting their first Champions League trophy, head of sports analysis at Gracenote, Simon Gleave, states: “After winning 2-1 in Paris, Manchester City now have well over a 50% chance of lifting their first Champions League trophy at the end of this month.
“The number one team on our Euro Club Index (www.euroclubindex.com) is estimated to have an 87% chance of finishing the job of knocking out Paris St-Germain and a 57% chance of winning the competition.”
Although the stats may suggest otherwise we all know that anything can happen in football. Pochettino has done the impossible in the Champions League semi-finals before but surely lightning can’t strike twice, can it?