Preview: Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester United – UEFA Champions League | United to overturn 2-0 PSG lead in Paris?


Paris Saint-Germain -v- Manchester United

UEFA Champions League

Parc des Princes, Paris

Wednesday 6 March 2019; KO 20:00 GMT

Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)

Manchester United will find out their fate in the UEFA Champions League this season as they head to the Parc des Princes to face Paris Saint-Germain. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side must overturn a 2-0 deficit under the lights in Paris to find themselves in the draw for the quarter-final stage of the competition. United found themselves out of their depth against the Parisien side with Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe scoring the goals in the second half.

That was not all though. Angel Di Maria, who flopped in his season at Old Trafford, was the star of the show, providing the assists for his side despite Ashley Young sending him flying into the advertising hoardings at the side of the Old Trafford pitch. One positive to take from that game was that the Argentinian became a star at Old Trafford, something he did not do in a season playing at the stadium.

United have played in bigger games in the Champions League in the history of the competition but they will need to produce a great result if they are to continue in the competition. They will need to do this without Paul Pogba, who was sent off in this fixture on the 12 February, which will leave United at barebones in the centre of midfield unless the likes of Nemanja Matic or Ander Herrera are going to be available for the important fixture, which seems unlikely, but you never know.

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Form: PSG in great form winning all of their last six matches in all competitions; United 

Manchester United: WWDWLW

Southampton 3-2 W, Crystal Palace 3-1 W, Liverpool 0-0 D, Chelsea 2-0 W, Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 L, Fulham 3-0 W

United have set themselves in a good momentum at this stage of the season, losing one of their last six matches in all competitions and Solskjaer losing just one of the 16 matches he has managed the club. United beat Southampton at Old Trafford on Saturday, coming from behind to lead the game, then the score being levelled with Romelu Lukaku scoring a late winner. United have scored 11 goals, conceded five goals, and kept three clean sheets in their last six matches.

Paris Saint-Germain: WWWWWW

Caen 2-1 W, Dijon 3-0 W, Nimes 3-0 W, Montpellier 5-1 W, St Etienne 1-0 W, Manchester United 2-0 W

PSG have won all six of their last six matches at this stage of the season. It looks like the Parisien side is in good form ahead of hosting United in a must-win clash in the Champions League. The French champions have scored 16 goals in their last six matches, conceding twice and keeping four clean sheets. This weekend, in the 2-1 victory over Caen, PSG manager Thomas Tuchel managed to rest some of his star players with Gianluigi Buffon, Presnel Kimpembe and Marco Verratti playing no part in the victory.

Top Scorers: The Parisien side have scored more goals than United this season but competition in Ligue 1 is pretty poor compared to the Premier League

Manchester United: 14 – Paul Pogba, 13 – Romelu Lukaku, 11 – Anthony Martial, 10 – Marcus Rashford, 5 – Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, 3 – Ander Herrera, 2 – Marouane Fellaini, Alexis Sanchez, Ashley Young, 1 – Fred, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Andreas Pereira, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling

Paris Saint-Germain: 28 – Kylian Mbappé, 19 – Edinson Cavani, 18 – Neymar, 8 – Ángel Di María, 4 – Thomas Meunier, 3 – Marquinhos, Julian Draxler, Christopher Nkunku, 2 – Juan Bernat, Moussa Diaby, Adrien Rabiot, 1 – Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Presnel Kimpembe, Layvin Kurzawa, Timothy Weah

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Team News: United may be missing up to nine players in Paris unless Solskjaer has a plan; PSG missing Neymar and ~Edinson Cavani still?

United will have to rely on the fringe players once again as they get ready to travel to Paris to face PSG on Wednesday evening. Paul Pogba is suspended after being sent off in the first leg at Old Trafford. Solskjaer will also have to deal with the absences of Nemanja Matic (muscle), Ander Herrera (hamstring), Juan Mata (hamstring), Jesse Lingard (hamstring), Phil Jones (illness), Anthony Martial (groin), Antonio Valencia (calf), Matteo Darmian (knock) and now Alexis Sanchez (knee).

There is a chance that some of the injured players could be available for this game after Herrera, Mata and Lingard all suffering injuries against Liverpool after Lingard and  Martial were both injured days before in the first leg against PSG. Solskjaer will keep his cards close to his chest for this game, as it is the biggest he will manage at this stage of the season and an important match for United’s growth as they need to be able to come back from deficits such as this one. He may reveal some team news in his press conference.

PSG manager Thomas Tuchel has been boosted by the return to action of Thomas Meunier but both Edinson Cavani and Neymar will most likely miss this game, unless, like Solskjaer, Tuchel will keep his team news close to his chest. In all fairness, PSG has a team capable of beating United, as they showed at the Theatre of Dreams three weeks ago. However, United have shown their resurgence in keeping a clean sheet against Liverpool and continuing to win matches, digging deep to fight off Southampton on Saturday.

Predicted Starting XI: Solskjaer starting his team in a 4-3-3 formation could compensate for big players missing this match against PSG

It is going to be tough to predict what team and formation Solskjaer will utilise against PSG on Wednesday evening. I have added players that we know are fit and available and also suggested the options should a player on the sidelines be ready to play in this important fixture, which might have a low chance of actually happening. Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic have all been missing for a fortnight now, which may or may not see them returning. United will have a big challenge ahead of them.

Match Prediction: United need to win this match but a barebones team could see defeat once again, although United now has the mentality to fight back

United and PSG have played one competitive match in the history of both clubs and that was the 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford three weeks ago. This will be the first time United have played at PSG’s home in Paris and with the recent run of away victories with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer winning the last eight matches away from Old Trafford, United will be seeking to extend that record. Overturning a 2-0 deficit is necessary for United to continue their pursuit in the Champions League this season.

Paris Saint-Germain 0-3 Manchester United

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