The Italian goalkeeper called on his team to show more mental strength when they visit Old Trafford for their Champions League tie on Tuesday
Gianluigi Buffon believes there are no favourites for the Champions League tie between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, but urged his side to put on a “beefier and stronger” display against the Premier League team.
The French club visit Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team at Old Trafford for the first leg of their second round tie on Tuesday.
While United have turned their season around with 10 wins from 11 games since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho, runaway Ligue 1 leaders PSG slipped up last week against Lyon and scraped to a 1-0 win over Bordeaux on Saturday thanks to an Edinson Cavani penalty.
Looking to cement their place as one of Europe’s biggest teams, the pairing with the English side is a crucial one for Thomas Tuchel’s team.
United striker Lukaku may not be alone in thinking that his side are the “underdogs” when they come up against the Parisian team, but Buffon disagrees and believes his team will be in danger if they do not get a grip of themselves.
“I think we need to improve in terms of the mentality, the attitude and the spirit of sacrifice for the team,” he told reporters.
“On Tuesday, a very important game is waiting for us. We have to have a great game. Our game against Manchester United needs to be beefier, stronger, with a different attitude.
“No [we are not favourites], I think we are tied, it’s 50/50.”
But while Buffon believes the sides are on level pegging heading into the clash, things could have been different if PSG hadn’t lost Neymar to injury, while Cavani is also a doubt after picking up a knock against Bordeaux.
Detailing the severity of the Brazilian’s issues, a statement from the club read: “After detailed analysis by the specialists, a consensus was reached of a conservative treatment of Neymar Jr’s injury to the fifth right metatarsal.
“Informed of this recommendation, Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian international striker agreed with this protocol. As a result, Neymar Jr is expected to return to the field within 10 weeks.”
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As for Cavani, Tuchel addressed his injury on Saturday evening, stating: “He told me he picked up the injury when he took the penalty. I don’t know if he’ll be able to play [against Manchester United] because I did not talk to Edi or the doctors after the match.
“If it’s muscular and we’re at Saturday… Tuesday will arrive very quickly. I think he went to have further exams. We’ll have to wait a day or two.”
PSG sit 13 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 having won seven of their last 10 games in all competitions.