Starting XI Prediction: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to use a 4-3-3 formation to get the better of PSG, overturning a 2-0 deficit in Paris?


Manchester United will have a big task on their hands as they travel to face Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of the round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League this season. In the first leg, which was played at Old Trafford, United lost 2-0 with Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe scoring the goals in the second half, which were both assisted by former United winger, Angel Di Maria. With injuries to contend with, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have a selection headache to assemble a team able to battle the Parisiens.

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.

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Goalkeeper: David De Gea

I would expect David De Gea to feature in this game as United may need him to be the standout player in this fixture. However, with Sergio Romero missing from the bench against Southampton at the weekend, it has left me thinking about whether Solskjaer could have rested the Argentinian with a view of him playing in this match, keeping De Gea fit and fresh for a second visit to the Emirates to face Arsenal next weekend. It was just a though, I expect De Gea to start in Paris.

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Defence: Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw

United’s defence is the only area that they have not been depleted by injuries, which is a refreshing change when you look back at the injury problems in this area over the past six years or so. Phil Jones will likely miss the game through illness. Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw should start the game. Solskjaer has Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly in reserve for this game and Diogo Dalot as a fullback, although I feel he was tested in a different area ahead of this game.

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Midfield: Andreas Pereira, Scott McTominay, Diogo Dalot

The midfield is the problem area right now with Paul Pogba suspended, Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata all on the sidelines. It is, of course, possible that one of some of these players is fit enough to play a part in the game, whether it be from the start or off the bench. However, I think Diogo Dalot could start on the right of a three-man midfield with Scott McTominay in the centre and Andreas Pereira playing in the position Pogba would have played in. It might not be pretty but it could work.

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Forward Three: Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, Tahith Chong

Romelu Lukaku has scored four goals in his last two matches, putting his forward as the man in for right now. Marcus Rashford, now recovered from his ankle injury, could play on the left, if Anthony Martial is still on the sidelines, or on the right if he is not. Presuming the Frenchman will miss this game also, Tahith Chong could start on the right-wing, which would be good for the 19-year-old. It could be a gamble as he’s not really played recently, despite injuries. With Alexis Sanchez seeming injured, he may have to play.

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Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo; Ander Herrera, Angel Gomes, James Garner; Anthony Martial

United now has nine players on the sidelines; Matteo Darmian (knock), Antonio Valencia (muscle), Ander Herrera (hamstring), Juan Mata (hamstring), Jesse Lingard (hamstring), Nemanja Matic (muscle), Phil Jones (illness), and now Alexis Sanchez (knee). I think Martial may be involved in this game, either from the start, if fit enough, or on the bench, to boost the options. Ander Herrera may also play a part (just a guess). If not, James Garner and Angel Gomes could be utilised, which would be good for them.

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