Caen given extra motivation to stop Kylian Mbappe in Paris St Germain clash

Rolland Courbis will treat Caen’s players to a meal out if they can stop Kylian Mbappe from scoring in Saturday’s Ligue 1 clash with runaway leaders Paris St Germain.

Veteran coach Courbis joined the staff at Caen last week in support of under-pressure manager Fabien Mercadal and will hope his unusual approach provides motivation.

Mbappe has scored 28 goals this season for club and country, including five in his last four games, and Courbis said on ligue1.com: “There’s a meal in a restaurant at stake as I told the players I didn’t think they were capable of stopping Mbappe scoring.

“It’s not that I don’t have confidence in them, it’s just the way I see things. There are sometimes surprises.”

Caen sit 18th in the table having not won in the league in 2019 and they suffered another setback on Wednesday with defeat to Lyon in the Coupe de France quarter-finals.

Mercadal said: “We would have liked to have qualified but now we can focus on Ligue 1. Against Paris we’ll have to raise our performance by several levels. We have good spells of possession but we need to start weighing in more, especially from an attacking standpoint.”

PSG head into the weekend 17 points clear of second-place Lille with a game in hand, and coach Thomas Tuchel admitted they will have at least one eye on Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Manchester United.

Paris St Germain's players celebrate Presnel Kimpembe's goal against Manchester United
Paris St Germain’s players celebrate Presnel Kimpembe’s goal against Manchester United (Martin Rickett/PA)

PSG lead 2-0 from the first leg at Old Trafford last month and Edinson Cavani, for one, will not be risked against Caen after returning to training following a muscle problem.

Tuchel said on psg.fr: “We have to accept that everyone is thinking a little bit about the Manchester game. But we have a responsibility to be 100 per cent focused on Caen, and play as well as we can, like we have in our last matches.

“I have confidence in my players, I know they are very serious about reaching our objectives.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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