PSG returns to Le Havre, the public too

Presnel Kimpembe facing Thomas Hazard, during PSG-Dortmund (Champions League round of 16) on March 11, 2020, at the Parc des Princes.

Seen from afar, this is a preparation match like there are dozens during the summer, between a Ligue 2 team, in the midst of a transfer window, and an elite team, which seeks above all to avoid injuries.

However, this opposition between Normans and Parisians will occupy a special place in this tormented year, with the stopping of all competitions because of the pandemic due to the coronavirus. For the first time in four months among the five countries of the "Big 5" (Spain, England, Germany, Italy, France), a meeting with an elite club will be disputed in front of spectators. The gauge set by the French government, which applies from Saturday, allows 4,980 people to enter the Océane stadium.

Without counting the supervision of each team, the employees in charge of security, the organization or the refreshment bar, and the journalists, that makes between 4,000 and 4,500 tickets available to spectators – who tore themselves away in six minutes, according to the Le Havre club.

In the stands or around the lawn, everyone must respect the health specifications. For the public, it is compulsory to wear a mask, in addition to social distancing and the direction of movement in the stadium to be respected. Behind the scenes, at the request of Parisian leaders, people who will be in the same areas as the players will have to pass two Covid-19 screening tests (a PCR test and a serological test).

"All eyes will be on Le Havre", HAC coach Paul Le Guen, a former PSG player and technician, said with a smile in an interview with the club's website before resuming: "Rather turned towards PSG, we are not fooled".

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Three trophies to win this summer

Because the champion club of France is preparing for its most exciting summer: with two finals to play (French and League Cups, July 24 and 31) and the final eight-match tournament of the Champions League in Lisbon, it can at best win three trophies, playing only five matches.

A huge challenge, but at the height of the means of this Parisian team which believes more than ever in its European chances, exhilarated by its 8e victorious final against Dortmund.

The draw on Friday reserved a table for him, with a quarter-final against Atalanta Bergamo before a semi-final against Atlético de Madrid or Leipzig. But today, "It's Saint-Etienne (in the Coupe de France) first of all "assures Thomas Tuchel, who has had to restart a machine that has been stopped since March 11.

The coach is especially concerned about injuries, which have not spared his group in recent months. After returning to the Camp des Loges on June 22, PSG resumed collective training ten days later.

"The most important thing is to stay together without great injury, to find our rhythm. It’s very complicated, we have to be very careful with the players’ health. ”, said the Swabian technician, who will benefit from two additional test gallops, against the Belgians of Waasland-Beveren, on July 17, and the Scots of Celtic Glasgow, on July 21.

In Le Havre, it will be more a question of letting Kylian Mbappé or Neymar stretch their legs than to see how Tuchel intends to compensate for the departures of Edinson Cavani and Thomas Meunier, who leave a void in attack and defense.

"This match will especially be what PSG wants to do with it", assures Le Guen, which has already planned to rotate its workforce. "I'm going to play two teams, forty-five minutes each. Even if it's a gala match, we're going to use this match to do a great workout and gain momentum. " Paris, too, demands only that.

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The World with AFP


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