Man Utd Champions League: Manchester United will face PSG in the Champions League’s round-of-16 clash tomorrow night.
Manchester United have been in brilliant form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The side is yet to lose a game under his charge, having dropped points in only one of the eleven games so far.
The side’s biggest test, however, comes on Tuesday when Solskjaer takes charge in his first Champions League game with Manchester United. Old Trafford will host Paris Saint Germain for the first leg of the round-of-16.
PSG have received continual setbacks over the past few weeks as four major first-team players are feared absent due to injuries. In January, Marco Verratti and Neymar suffered significant injuries, while Edinson Cavani and Thomas Meunier were confirmed injured last week.
While this puts United in pole position for the game, PSG’s front-three still consists of quality attackers like Kylian Mbappe, Julian Draxler, and United’s former star Angel Di Maria. The Argentinian winger returns to Old Trafford for the first time with PSG since leaving the club in 2015.
Man Utd Champions League:
Solskjaer rotated a few players during the game against Fulham but Man Utd hardly needed its first-team attackers as the side cruised to a 3-0 win.
Paul Pogba has stepped up for the Norwegian caretaker manager, having scored 8 goals and assisted five in the ten games under his charge.
Marcus Rashford is another player who sparked brightly under Solskjaer. Manchester United have moved to the fourth position in the Premier League with a superior goal difference than Arsenal and Chelsea, and would aim to replicate their fine form in the Champions League when they take on PSG.
Here’s how we think Man Utd would line up against PSG in the first leg:
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
No prizes for guessing there, really.
De Gea has shown his class over and over again for Manchester United and will be the first name on the sheet against PSG. The Spaniard was key to United’s famous win against Tottenham last month, where he made an incredible 11 saves in the second half to secure three points at Wembley Stadium.
Defence: Young, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw
Solskjaer opted to play Diogo Dalot and Chris Smalling in the game against Fulham last weekend. It is expected that both the players will be replaced by regular first-team players Ashley Young and Eric Bailly.
Victor Lindelof missed the Fulham game with a slight knock but trained with the side on Monday. The Swedish defender has comfortably been the best player in the back four for Manchester United this season.
Victor Lindelof training with United squad this morning ahead of PSG tie. No Valencia or Darmian.
— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonESPN) February 11, 2019
There might be a dilemma for Solskjaer and co. to pick Lindelof’s partner for the game against PSG, however. The defender has partnered Phil Jones on a more regular basis than Eric Bailly, who missed significant games this season due to injury and inconsistent form.
The Ivory Coast defender has been criticised for being rough with his tackles but is less error-prone than his competitor for the position. Moreover, Solskjaer’s decision to play Jones against Fulham may have already indicated his preferred central-defence duo for the PSG game.
Midfield: Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba
The midfield was one of the significant issues under Mourinho at Manchester United. However, after Solskjaer’s arrival, the position has seen an impressive turnaround.
12 – Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford have combined to create 12 scoring chances for each other in nine competitive games under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (692 mins). They only combined for five scoring chances in 17 matches under Jose Mourinho in 2018-19 (814 mins). Wavelength. pic.twitter.com/L3auTbZuC9
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 11, 2019
The midfield three of Herrera, Matic and Pogba have been very impressive under the interim manager. While Pogba is the most improved player since Solskjaer’s arrival, Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic work efficiently to provide cover to the defence.
Forward: Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford
Solskjaer has used various combinations in the front-three since his arrival but the most productive of them has been the trio of Lingard-Martial-Rashford.
Rashford was named the Premier League Player of the Month for January after his exploits as a centre-forward. Lingard and Martial on the wings have been explosive in the attack and are expected to keep their place in the side.
Here’s Man Utd’s predicted line up vs PSG: