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Paris Saint-Germain boss eager to finish year off with win despite injuries

Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino is targeting a win at Lorient on Wednesday to finish off a marathon 2021.

PSG’s match at Stade du Moustoir will be the 61st of the calendar year. Les Parisiens have drawn two of their last three Ligue 1 matches. However, their lead over second-placed is still 13 points albeit having played a match more. They’re currently on a nine-game unbeaten run heading into the game against Lorient.

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Speaking to the club’s official website, Pochettino: “It’s important to finish the year well. It’ll be a difficult game, like every Ligue 1 game is.

“We’ll have to return to Paris with the three points if we want to enjoy the holidays. Incidentally, I’d like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. It’s important to enjoy life during the tougher times.

“We’ve just told the players their return date; we’ll start working again on 1st January. Every player will have a tailor-made work schedule for each day of the holidays. The squad has been through a period where the games have come thick and fast, so my players need to rest.”

Pochettino loving the project

The Argentine manager was eager to summarise the last 12 months.

He said: “It’s been a good year. Tomorrow, away to Lorient, we’ll be playing our 61st game of the year.

“Both my own adjustment and that of my coaching staff have gone smoothly. During the first six months, I got to know the club even more. I’ve completely immersed myself in the project.

“Now, we’re more in a building phase. The best moment of my year was undoubtedly when I came to Paris, to a club that I love and where I hold some great memories, but I hope that my best moments here are still to come.”

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PSG missing Mbappe and Neymar

Paris Saint-Germain go into Wednesday’s clash away at Lorient without both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. The latter is out suspended whilst the former has an ankle injury.

Pochettino told the Mail Online: “We have to build and move forward in a different way on the pitch. With Neymar or Kylian on the pitch, we are quickly looking for verticality.

“Without Mbappe we have to build differently and we will perhaps play at a different pace. It will be a challenge to see how the team plays in this situation.

“We are not talking about replacing him but finding the balance to win. We often have things like that because of injuries and suspensions during the year. We have a good squad to find the balance that will lead us to victory.”

Mbappe netted a brace against Monaco in PSG’s last Ligue 1 match. He played in a front three alongside Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria that day.

Mauro Icardi could replace Mbappe against Lorient but youngsters Dina Ebimbe and Xavi Simons are other options.

READ MORE: PSG chief makes desperate ‘world’s best’ plea as transfer for star beckons

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