Manchester United will go into the UEFA Champions League game against PSG on Wednesday only needing a point to claim a place in the last 16 of the competition. We currently sit at the top of Group H and know that we just need to avoid defeat in our last two games. Although we will have to be wary of the threat by PSG who will be seeking revenge for their defeat in the first game against us.
When the group stages were drawn, there was concern amongst United fans as we had drawn last season’s runner-ups PSG and semi-finalists, RB Leipzig who would have been considered the favourites to progress.
A win or even a draw on Wednesday evening with Leipzig dropping points against Istanbul Basaksehir would secure us the top spot in the group. We had many highs and lows this season so far with securing a victory against PSG on matchday one, then an impressive performance to beat Leipzig 5-0. Though we did not expect to lose against Istanbul Basaksehir, we had gained revenge with a 4-1 win last time out.
We have won the last seven European games at Old Trafford by an aggregate score of 24-2. This is the longest run we have had since between September 2006 and April 2008. Though it can be noted this run we are on currently has been achieved through the Europa League last season.
In the Champions League, we have scored nine goals in two games at home compared to the three in five games in the Premier League. We will be heading into this with confidence after our dramatic 3-2 comeback against Southampton at the weekend.
This comeback from United will be a bit of concern for PSG as in a recent game against Monaco, they threw away a 2-0 lead to end up losing 3-2. On Saturday’s they squandered their lead to only draw 2-2 against Bordeaux.
PSG are currently in a bit of inconsistent run of form, which United have experienced this season themselves. The French Champions have now won two, lost two, and drawn one of their last five games in all competitions.
Throughout November, they had failed to win back-to-back games but it is worth noting it would not be looked at as a crisis for a team that can be very dominant. It would end up being a crisis if PSG were to exit the Champions League at the group stages having been runners up last season. If this was to happen, it could result in manager Thomas Tuchel being relieved of his duties.
If Leipzig was to beat Istanbul Basaksehir in the earlier kick-off, then PSG would lie third in the group and three points behind second-place if United were to beat them.
Manchester United vs PSG Match Details
Teams: Manchester United vs PSG
Date: December 2nd, 2020 (Wednesday)
KO Time: 20:00 BST
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Stadium: Old Trafford
Referee: Daniele Orsato
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Thomas Tuchel
Manchester United Team News
On the injury front, Luke Shaw still remains out with a hamstring injury. Alex Telles is expected to remain at left-back despite a slight knock against Southampton at the weekend. Jesse Lingard, Scott McTominay, and Eric Bailly all remain doubts through injury and due to covid-19 isolation.
Paul Pogba should be available again and could feature to make his 50th appearance in the competition. Axel Tuanzebe is suspended for this game, who had starred in the reverse fixture back on matchday one.
Ole will have to decide between Henderson and De Gea for the goalkeeping position. De Gea suffered a knock to the knee during Sunday’s game and came off at half-time. But it is likely he will be available for the PSG.
Anthony Martial is back training after his illness kept him out of the Southampton game. Though Ole may decide to with Cavani upfront given question marks over Martial’s form.
Pre-Match Press Conference
During the pre-match press conference, Ole was asked about Cavani after he was engulfed in a racism storm following an Instagram post after Sunday’s game. He said, “Yes of course, we’ve communicated with Edinson and he’s really deeply sorry for the mistake he’s made. There was no malicious intent at all. It was just an affectionate greeting to a friend of his. But we explained it to him. He’s been asked by the FA to explain so of course he’ll co-operate with them and we’ll support him.”
He was asked about how important it was to gain the one point needed to qualify for the last 16. “The quicker you can qualify, the better of course. With a win, we’ll win the group so, of course, that’s our intent. We want to go out there in our style with attacking intent, defending well against a top team with some top individual players, of course, but our mindset is win this game and we’ve won the group.”
Donny Van De Beek joined Ole in the press conference and was asked what the adjustment has been like coming from Ajax to United. He said, “There is no difference. Of course, I play with different team-mates so you need to understand them. We understand each other and I can play that type of style with them.”
PSG Team News
For our opponents PSG, they may be without Marquinhos after he was absent from the 2-2 draw against Bordeaux at the weekend. It is expected that Julian Draxler and Thilo Kehrer will miss the match as they remain on the sidelines.
Juan Bernat is a long-term doubt and therefore will not feature. Two players who may feature are Mauro Icardi who came off the bench on Saturday and Idrissa Gueye who is deemed fit again.
Former United player Ander Herrera and Angel Di Maria will be hoping to be in the starting eleven as they return to play against their former club and feature with the star duo of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Manchester United Champions League form: WWLW
Manchester United form (all competitions): LLWWWW
Paris Saint-Germain Champions League form: LWLW
Paris Saint-Germain form (all competitions): WLWLWD
- Marcus Rashford has scored five goals in his four Champions League outings this season.
- Both Donny van de Beek and Paul Pogba’s next appearances Europe will be their 50th. (source: uefa.com)
- Edinson Cavani’s next goal in Europe will be his 50th. (source: uefa.com)
- In the last three matches between the sides, the away side has always won…
- Neymar has never scored a competitive goal against Manchester United
Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Telles, Fred, Matic, Van De Beek, Fernandes, Rashford, and Cavani.
This game promises to be a fascinating one as both teams are looking to qualify from the group stages. PSG will be seeking revenge for their defeat in the reverse fixture on matchday one. Our defence will have to handle their two star players in the form of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
If Cavani does feature, he will be wanting to show his former club why they were wrong to move him on. If he does score as well, it would be his 50th goal in the competition.
It will be a battle of wills and I think it will be an open game from the start. We are more than capable of achieving the one point needed on the night though we will be trying to get all three to secure top spot in Group H.
Manchester United 1-1 PSG