United host injury-hit PSG in the Champions League last 16
Last updated: February 12, 2019 by Leon Marshal
|Last Meeting:||Man United 0 – 2 PSG|
When the draw was made that pitched these two together it was difficult to see anything other than a PSG win. Injuries to key players and the Solskjaer effect have put a different slant on this altogether. With two teams that historically love to attack, this could be a classic!
The Red Devils are in red hot form since the return of prodigal son, Ole Gunner Solskjaer. The baby faced assassin has brought the identity and the results back to Old Trafford since taking over from Jose Mourinho. From 7th, eleven points adrift and with a negative goal difference, Solskjaer has performed miracles in the Premier League. His team now sits in fourth place with an unlikely Champions League spot looking more credible every week. Much has been said of the former striker’s man management skills. You only need to look at the dramatic upturn of form from Paul Pogba for that, but it is his impact on Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford that has been key. Those three young players could be the backbone of a Manchester United side for a decade. The faith that Solskjaer has in Rashford is plain to see with Romelu Lukaku, who was once regarded as ‘untouchable’ by Mourinho, finding his chances limited behind the England youngster.
While Manchester United are enjoying a turn of fortunes, the same can be said of PSG but in reverse. PSG were among the most fancied favourites to win the Champions League this year. That was however before star man Neymar suffering a metatarsal injury that means the world’s most expensive player is out for ten weeks. Ruling him out of both legs of the UEFA round of sixteen clash against United. In isolation this would be a loss but not terminal, but PSG have concerns over the man who would have filled Neymar’s boots, Edinson Cavani. PSG’s all-time goal scorer damaged a tendon in his right hip in the 1-0 win against Bordeaux and is a severe doubt. A huge blow considering Thomas Meunier sustained a mild concussion in the same game and midfielder Marco Verratti is still feeling the effects of a sprained ankle sustained three weeks ago.
All eyes are now on Kylian Mbappe who has been in great form as the French league top scorer with eighteen goals and six assists. in addition to three goals and four assists in the Champions League. The 20-year old will be PSG’s point man showcasing his speed, skill, and goal threat. Although United will have to be cautious of other threats and would anyone really be surprised if old boy Ángel Di María produces a wonder class to show what they are missing out on? If not Di María then there are plenty of others who can make an impact. PSG are versatile with eight different scorers in their side and have created the highest amount of chances on target with 48. They have also scored the highest amount of goals with seventeen. The other high profile player making headlines in the French capital for is Adrien Rabiot. His contract expires at the end of the season and PSG’s decision to freeze him out the team unless he signs a new contract seems to have backfired spectacularly. An ongoing battle between the player and the owners is frustrating coach Tuchel who is desperate for the services of the midfielder to fill the void created by injuries.
Ole makes his debut in the Champions League as a coach. As a player his last gasp goal secured the trophy for Manchester United in 1998-99 edition.
Rashford has been in great form with 6 goals since Solskjaer took charge.
World record transfer signing Neymar will not feature due to a long term injury that is expected to last about ten weeks.
PSG are the highest scoring team in the UEFA Champions League with seventeen goals from eight different scorers.
|Man United (4-3-3):||De Gea, Young, Smalling, Lindeloef, Shaw, Matic, Herrera, Pogba, Lingard, Rashford, Martial|
|Subs:||Romero, Jones, Pereira, Fred, McTominay, Lukaku, Sanchez, Mata|
|PSG (4-3-3):||Buffon, Silva, Kimpembe, Bernat, Kehrer, Marquinhos, Paredes, Verratti, Draxler, Di Maria, Mbappe|
|Subs:||Areola, Kehrer, Meunier, Nkunku, Choupo-Moting, Diaby, N’soki, Weah|
|Injured:||Dagba, Neymar, Verratti|
Head to Head
|Last meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|30/07/2015||Friendly||Man United 0 – 2 PSG||Matuidi 25’|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Rashford and Pogba look like scoring in every game at the moment and we expect this pattern to continue. PSG have some crucial injuries but their greatest hope might be a Manchester United defence that doesn’t inspire much confidence at times. Mbappe could well exploit this. A high scoring game over 3.5 with both teams to score is our pick. You can get the best Champions League odds at BetVictor.