6th March, 2019
It is surely going to be a “do or die” encounter this evening at Parc des Princes as Manchester United try to overturn a 2-0 deficit suffered against today’s hosts, Paris St. Germain in the first leg played at the Old Trafford.
It is however not going to be easy for ManU as PSG has continued to have a good run generally of recent.
After their winning run away at Caen over the weekend, former Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel now sees his side holding a 17-point buffer at the top of the Ligue 1 table.
With a star-studded list of attacking options, fans around the Parc des Princes will be looking for 20-year-old sensation Kylian Mbappe to continue his outstanding form in the final third. Finding the net in Manchester last month, the PSG marksman bagged yet another brace over the weekend and has famously enjoyed his match-ups against British opponents.
Mbappe has now scored in six of his seven Champions League appearances against British clubs.
While the defending French champions have continued to shine in the final third, Tuchel will know that his side must improve on some recent defensive issues. Aside from their clean sheet at Old Trafford, PSG have remarkably failed to record a clean sheet in any of their other 10 Champions League appearances, a run that stems back to October 2017.
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel will still be without star man Neymar due to a metatarsal injury, but the French champions will likely opt for the same compact system which worked brilliantly at Old Trafford.
Edinson Cavani could be available after missing the first leg through injury, but may more likely be used as an option from the bench if PSG need a goal in the second half.
As for Manchester United, they may have gone about it the difficult way over the weekend, but then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw his Manchester United side continue their unbeaten domestic record.
Picking up a 3-2 win over Southampton at Old Trafford, the Reds once again find themselves sat in the top-four in England’s top-tier.
With their defeat to PSG last month being their only loss since the Norweigan’s arrival back in December, the mood in United’s camp is at a season-high.
However, despite showing vast improvements since Jose Mourinho’s departure, the Reds do have a worrying record in the Champions League knockout stage. The Premier League giants have won only one of their last 10 European knockout matches and have not picked up an away knockout victory in over eight years.
If United are too complete one of the most famous turnarounds in European history, then Solskjaer will be looking for the in-form Romelu Lukaku to continue his very eye-catching run of form. Bagging a brace against the Saints on Saturday, the Belgian international is relishing his chance to play in a more central role and now has four goals in his last two appearances.
As far as team news for ManU is concerned, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic, Anthony Martial, Juan Mata, Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia are all out.
United will also be without the suspended Paul Pogba, while Alexis Sanchez is out for up to eight weeks with knee ligament damage.
Although their 2-0 deficit might be a step too far for Manchester United on Wednesday, the Reds should be looking to exploit PSG’s defensive issues. Given the defending Ligue 1 champions have recorded just a single European clean sheet in their last 11 attempts, fans should expect a lively encounter at the Parc des Princes.