Man Utd v PSG Betting Tips: Can Ole’s men stun wounded visitors?
Richard Marsh | 12 February 2019
Preview and odds for Champions League clash
It’s finally here. After what seems like an eternity, the Champions League roars back into life with Manchester United v Paris Saint-Germain.
What’s more, it’s the knockout stages and a phase of the season which many regard as the finest in club football.
We’re set for a cracker tonight. When the draw pitched United against money-laden PSG, there was a chorus of groans from the Red Devils’ faithful. Les Parisiens were flying with Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe, while United were suffocating under Jose Mourinho.
But it’s all change now ahead of a classic European night at Old Trafford. The Premier League side are flying under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, while PSG are without Neymar and Cavani. It’s all live on BT Sport 2 tonight, with an 8.00pm kick-off…
This is the first ever meeting between the two sides. In terms of pedigree, United are in the upper echelons of European heavyweights, with three titles to their name.
PSG boast a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1996, but it’s only since their Qatari takeover in 2011 that they have become Champions League regulars. Is this finally their year?
As for the formbook, the Red Devils head into this one with 10 wins and a draw in 11 games under Solskjaer.
The visitors saw their unbeaten Ligue 1 campaign come to an end at Lyon nine days ago, while they also needed extra time to see off lower-league opposition in the Coupe de France last week.
Boss Thomas Tuchel may also be concerned about his side failing to find four of their last five away games in the Champions League.
Solskjaer made six changes in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Fulham, but he’s likely to go with his preferred XI for his first European game in charge of the Old Trafford outfit.
That means Marcus Rashford comes back in to the side in place of Romelu Lukaku at the head of a 4-3-3. Jesse Lingard should also feature with Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial vying for the third forward role.
Paul Pogba will look to continue his excellent form in midfield. The Frenchman is set to be shepherded again by Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera. At the back, Victor Lindelof and Ashley Young are set to return.
If Tuchel had a dilemma with tonight’s selection, injuries have now largely forced his hand.
With Neymar and Cavani out, Julian Draxler and former Man United winger Angel Di Maria look set to support World Cup-winning Kylian Mbappe. Ex-Stoke City striker Eric Choupo-Moting, at 6ft 2in, could lead the line as a target man.
And after playing in central midfield at the weekend, Dani Alves may be shifted to the flanks with Thomas Meunier injured. The good news for PSG is that midfield lynchpin Marco Verratti is fit to play.
They may be missing two of the finest players, but PSG still possess great quality. Tuchel knows his side need to score tonight, so the French side are likely to fight fire with fire, with both sides boasting great pace up front.
The key is who can unlock their forwards more often, and on current form, Pogba is unstoppable.
The Frenchman has linked up with Rashford to great effect in recent weeks. If Verratti and Marquinhos don’t close him down, Pogba can dictate the game.
But this isn’t all about United. Mbappe has the pace, power and intelligence to turn a game in an instant. Lindelof has been United’s best centre-half this season, but it’s a big ask for the Swede having missed the Fulham game with a slight injury.
What’s more, Di Maria will be out to prove a point after his dismal spell at Old Trafford in 2014.
Rashford has been fully unleashed since Mourinho left the club, and the hotshot forward is United’s 5/1 favourite to score first.
If they can’t, Choupo-Moting bagged twice against United and David de Gea for Stoke in 2017. He’s 12/5 anytime.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing