MANCHESTER UNITED V/S PSG: MATCH PREVIEW

INTRODUCTION

Unlike their rocky start to the 2020/21 season Premier League, Manchester United has been performing well in the Champions League. This season they having pocketed important wins against last season UCL’s semi-finalist Leipzig and finalist PSG away from home. However, the defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir somehow blew the group-wide open with three teams having a real chance to qualify for the knockout stage.

United, do have a superior goal difference boasting a positive difference of 8 compared to
Leipzig’s -3 and Psg’s +1. Although Man Utd need only 1 point to virtually secure a draw in the
Round Of 16. But Ole Gunnar Solksjaer definitely wants to have an easier opposition in the
knockout stage by topping the group table. On the other side, Psg had a tumultuous domestic campaign, and their 3-1 loss against Leipzig made the group evenly poised. A win over Manchester United is a necessity to ensure their qualification to their next round, especially with the French giants set to face Istanbul
Basaksehir at home on the final matchday.

PSG Players - Neymar and Mbappe
PSG Players – Neymar and Mbappe

TEAM NEWS AND TACTICS

MANCHESTER UNITED

Scott McTominay along with Paul Pogba is back in training but only McTominay is likely to start against the French giants. Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw is also back in training but none of them are likely to feature in this heavyweight clash. David De Gea after suffering from a knee injury last weekend against Southampton at isn’t like to start against PSG though the Spanish International is back in training. This means Dean Henderson having his second start in UCL for Manchester United. Looks like Ole Gunnar Solksjaer may stay with the same back four that encountered against Southampton last week in the Premier League.

Along with Fred and McTominay in midfield with no.8 and no.6 roles respectively as they looked pretty solid against PSG when they faced each other in the first leg. Donny Van De Beek might start as the third midfielder ahead of Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba. Bruno is definitely going to start. Martial’s fitness is causing a headache to Ole but there’s something to cherish about as their newly signed no.7 Edison Cavani is in sensational form. As he bagged 2 goals and 1 assist against The Saints 3 days back. Marcus Rashford was the hero during their last meeting between these two teams. Thus it seems like Cavani and Rashford will be the two upfronts against PSG.

MANCHESTER UNITED LINEUP
MANCHESTER UNITED LINEUP

PSG

The last time these two sides faced each other, half of PSG’s first-team players were injured. However, it is slightly good news for them. As their main defender and leader from the back Marquinhos is back along with Italian International, Marco Verrati. Presnel Kimpembe and Idrissa Gueye is set to be back after the respective suspensions. Though the likes of Juan Bernat, Julian Draxler, Thilo Kehrer, Maurco Icardi, Pablo Sarabia, and Kurzawa are unlikely to be featured against Manchester United. Keylor Navas should be in goal along with Florenzi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, and Bakker as their back 4.

Former Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera should pair up against Marco Verrati and
Danilo Perreira should play as the defensive midfielder as he has much of a task in hand to
keep Bruno Fernandes in control as he is in the form of his life. A lethal front 3 comprising of Angel Di Maria along with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar Jr can cause a headache for Man United’s back four at Old Trafford.

PSG LINEUP
PSG LINEUP

KEY STATS

Marcus Rashford - Manchester United
Marcus Rashford – Manchester United
  • In the last 5 home games combining all competitions, Manchester United had just
    conceded twice.
  • Marcus Rashford is the leading goal scorer in 2020/21 UCL, with 5 goals in 4 matches
    so far.
  • PSG had made it into the KO face for 8 UEFA Champions League seasons in a row.
  • The French Giants have received a total of 3 red cards in their last 2 games in all
    competitions.

PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR

BRUNO FERNANDES

BRUNO FERNANDES
BRUNO FERNANDES

What a signing this was for Manchester United. Since his arrival in January, he has scored more goals than any other Premier League player and has a joint number of assists with De Bruyne. He scored twice against Istanbul Basaksehir last weekend in CL. Since his arrival, he has proved time and again what a bargain it was for Man Utd to have him for £55m. Even on his bad days, he can at least manage to get an assist. Thomas Tuchel should seriously consider looking forward to how to pocket this guy else he can cause a lot of problems to the away side. It will be fun to watch Bruno leading the counter-attack against these French Giants.

CONCLUSION

Gonna be a much thriller of an encounter and a much-awaited second leg as the French giants will likely to push for a win with the lethal front 3s they have and the last time these two sides faced each other at Old Trafford, Psg bagged a win with Paul Pogba conceded a Red Card. Man United is likely to play on counters with the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, and Edison Cavani can cause much trouble along with Van De Beek. Wan Bissaka has a huge role to play at right-back and the composure of Fred and McTominay is very essential. It would be tough for the French Side to breakthrough Man Utd’s midfield and defense.

Cavani
Cavani


Manchester United is definitely likely to absorb pressure and play counters with a midfield trio to fight for the second balls and launch counters. Cavani on the other hand has some unfinished business with PSG as he was left out of the PSG squad after his end of the contract and was a free agent since June. So, the 34year old veteran is eager to prove how much he is still capable of playing for a big team and can drag his former side one step closer to Europa.

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