Thomas Tuchel has backed Leandro Paredes to make a big impact at Paris St Germain but will not rush his new signing into action against Lyon on Sunday.
PSG have won 18 and drawn two of their 20 Ligue 1 games so far and already hold a 10-point lead over second-placed Lille and 16 over Lyon, who respectively have played three and two games more.
They will have to continue that record without star man Neymar, out for several weeks with a foot injury.
And manager Tuchel will also be patient with Argentina midfielder Paredes, signed from Zenit St Petersburg this week for a reported 47million euros (£41m).
Tuchel said at a pre-match press conference, quoted on the club’s Twitter feed: “He will be with us tomorrow (but) it is a bit early for him to start.
“He has not played for a long time and he has not had enough training. We will be patient, he may be able to play 30 or 45 minutes.
“Paredes has a good vision of the game and he can speed things up. He’ll definitely come into play during the game.”
Midfielder Marco Verratti and full-back Layvin Kurzawa are also missing but could return to training on Monday.
Lyon coach Bruno Genesio made light of Neymar’s absence, telling his club’s website: “They have (Kylian) Mbappe, (Edinson) Cavani, (Angel) Di Maria, (Julian) Draxler…
“We will see what they are capable of without Neymar and Verratti. They are a big team, no matter who plays on Sunday. But we are a big team as well.
“We know their strengths, they have plenty, but we beat them last season and that shows what we are capable of.
“Paris are unbeaten. That is an extra motivation. We are all hungry to give them their first defeat.
“But finishing second is the most important objective. We are there to progress towards our ambitions, and not to glory in beating PSG.
“There are three points to play for. We have confidence.”
Full-back Rafael is not yet fit to return from injury, with Genesio planning to first give him playing time with the club’s reserves in the fourth tier.
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