Who: Manchester United vs PSG
When: Saturday, October 24th @ 12:30pm ET
Line: Man U +145 | Draw +260| Chelsea +175
Just like that, Manchester United are on a roll once again. The Red Devils have won their last 4 consecutive games and are flying high on momentum. United might be playing like kings away from home, but they still have issues to resolve at Old Trafford. While it’s true that they’ve scored 9 goals in two Champions League home games this season, there’s a catch to those two big wins.
One was against a low-quality side like Istanbul Basaksehir & another against an RB Leipzig side who hit the self-destruct button. Paris Saint Germain, however, won’t make the same mistakes. The Ligue 1 giants are barely holding onto the opportunity to get out of this group after a disappointing start to their season.
But a wounded tiger can often be the most dangerous one, as PSG will look to replicate their heroics from last year at Old Trafford. United have the chance to send the French side into the Europa League and will look to do so with another big home win under the European lights.
Manchester United Likely XI
Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles, Matic, Fred, Van de Beek, Fernandes, Cavani, Rashford
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suddenly has some injury problems in his side. Luke Shaw & Eric Bailly remain sidelined, while Axel Tuanzebe is suspended. Paul Pogba & Scott McTominay are also doubtful for the PSG game after missing the Southampton clash. David de Gea suffered a knee injury on Sunday, while Anthony Martial missed due to illness. Both are unlikely to start, but Alex Telles should recover from a groin problem to start.
PSG Likely XI
Navas, Florenzi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Bakker, Verratti, Gueye, Herrera, Di Maria, Neymar, Mbappe
PSG have their own injury troubles, with defenders Thilo Kehrer & Juan Bernat set to miss the game. Julian Draxler is also out, but they should have some key players back whom they missed in the reverse clash against United.
Manchester United vs PSG Preview
Man United played like the Sir Alex Ferguson way when they channelled a fiery comeback spirit to clinch a 3-2 win at Southampton after being 0-2 down. New signing Edinson Cavani, who’s signing many (including me) doubted, played a huge role & definitely deserves more starts after that.
Cavani, of course, will be salivating the prospect of facing his former side, PSG. With all the momentum in his stride, El Matador will look to use his predatorial instincts perfectly inside the box & latch onto the delivery to hurt the side that decided to let him go after so many years of service this summer. But Cavani needs help.
Bruno Fernandes will look to continue his good work in the UCL & create more for his forwards with his experimental passes. He’ll also look to cause havoc in the final third with his eye for goal &drive United forward. Marcus Rashford’s the second-highest scorer in the Champions League this season (with 5 goals) and will love to extend that.
Rashford loves playing against PSG & look to be a terror with his blistering movement, but he’ll have to be much more ruthless with his finishing to get among the goals. Donny van de Beek, Fred & Nemanja Matic should all start and will be given the duty to maintain positive energy in midfield & help dominate the key midfield battle, while Van de Beek will perhaps be given more license to open up opportunities with his clever passing.
PSG, however, won’t be one to hold back at Old Trafford. After a relatively poor start to the season, Thomas Tuchel is under pressure to bring out the big results. A win against United can definitely help save his job for a bit while longer. Last year’s Champions League finalists have a lot of firepower in their arsenal to wreak havoc.
Kylian Mbappe, Neymar & Angel Di Maria can stir up an incredible storm if allowed. Mbappe’s blistering pace & finishing is among the world’s best. Neymar can be unstoppable when he gets going. Di Maria has extra incentive to hurt his former side and his creativity could cause big problems.
Added to that, PSG have a classy midfielder in Marco Verratti to run the show and Ander Herrera & Idrissa Gueye to help dominate possession. If United are to go toe-to-toe with PSG, they need to perform at their highest level. Harry Maguire & co must be rock solid in defence & can’t afford a single mistake against PSG.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka & Alex Telles won’t only be responsible to stop PSG’s attacking flow, but must be productive going forward if United play a narrow formation. With some brilliant stars like Marquinhos and Veratti back, PSG are much stronger than they were in the last meeting. Since then, United have also improved their game & will have to put in a spirited effort as they did against Southampton to guarantee qualification for the UCL knockout stages.
Going by United’s current form, their shakiness at home & PSG’s desperation for points, I think both teams could cancel each other out in this one. It should end up as a 1-1 draw.