February 10, 2019
Manchester United return to UEFA Champions League action against Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening. It is what the Theatre of Dreams is made for, European nights under the floodlights. Last season, United made it to the same stage of the competition, losing to Sevilla and exiting the competition. This season, under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, things may go a bit different for the Red Devils. Confidence is high and United are undefeated in 11 matches, winning ten and drawing one.
Now is perhaps the best time to face the French champions as Neymar is out of the match and striker, Edinson Cavani limped out of Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Bordeaux. PSG are a competent team but playing in France, they do not really have much competition which may be a negative ahead of this game, as United have been challenged in every match they have played, showing the difference between the Premier League and French football.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
The Spanish number one was rarely tested against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday but when he was, he was at his best. There are suggestions that the goalkeeper is calling for a £350,000 per week wage to sign a new contract at United, which is fair considering that he is the player who has been the difference for United – more often than not. He seems players like Alexis Sanchez on a high wage, yet in terms of what he offers United, De Gea offers so much more.
Defence: Ashley Young, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw
United have managed to keep two clean sheets in their last two matches, which shows that some things have changed for United under Solskjaer. Ashley Young and Victor Lindelof were rested against Fulham, with the ‘ice man’ suffering from a knock. I expect both will be back against PSG with Luke Shaw keeping his place and Eric Bailly partnering Lindelof, which has seen both players in good form recently. Solskjaer has Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and possibly Marcos Rojo to select also, keeping options open.
Midfield: Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba
United’s best midfield will be tested against PSG on Tuesday. Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, and Paul Pogba. Both Herrera and Matic allow Pogba to play further forward, which has seen the Frenchman play some good football recently, also seeing him score eight goals and five assists in his last ten matches under Solskjaer. This United midfield has the form, the ability and the experience to work the magic against PSG at the Theatre of Dreams.
Forward Three: Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial
Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard were both rested in the 3-0 victory over Fulham at the weekend, meaning they will both be fresh to face PSG at Old Trafford. Anthony Martial played 70 minutes against Fulham, scoring a sublime goal, also getting an assist, which will mean his confidence will be high ahead of the Champions League match. These three, on their day, can be devastating to any team. If United manage to keep a clean sheet at home, the quarter-finals could be set for United this season.