Down The Wings

Manchester United Fan Blog

Champions League Preview: PSG vs Manchester United

PSG vs Manchester United 2020

Paris st Germain vs Manchester United | Champions League | Parc des Princes | KO: 20:00

After their impressive 4-1 victory over Newcastle on Saturday, Manchester United enter a tough run of fixtures, starting with French champions Paris St Germain in the Parc des Princes on Tuesday night, in the opening fixture of this season’s UEFA Champions League.

United fought hard to earn the right to be in the competition this season, and the tough draw they have been handed means that getting something out of this match may prove to be a huge confidence booster going forwards.

Of course, boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his side have fond memories of Paris, with the French capital being the scene of one of the club’s most historic European comebacks. Last time United played PSG, they won 3-1, knocking the hosts out of the tournament on away goals thanks to a dramatic last-minute penalty from Marcus Rashford. That win earned Solskjaer the United job on a full-time basis; a win on Tuesday could go a long way in ensuring he keeps that job.

How do Manchester United Look?

United appear to have a couple of injury concerns to contend with, but nothing too extensive.

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Saturday’s goalscorer Harry Maguire has reportedly not travelled with the squad to the French capital. Perhaps this is an extension of the knock he picked up whilst on international duty, or perhaps Solskjaer is just allowing the club captain to have the night off, given all of the attention he has been getting as of late.

Both Edinson Cavani and Eric Bailly have also not travelled with the squad, according to reports, with the prior not yet match fit, given that he has not played since March, and only trained with the squad for the first time on Sunday. The reason for Bailly staying in Manchester is unclear at the time of writing.

Sergio Romero and Phil Jones have both been excluded from United’s Champions League squad this season, so will not feature.

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In the absence of Maguire, United will have to name a different captain, and Solskjaer has already confirmed who that will be. In his press conference with Bruno Fernandes, the boss said the captain for tomorrow “is sitting next to me {him}”, meaning January signing Fernandes will captain the club for the first time against PSG.

In reply to the news, Bruno said “I was not expecting this, I know the same time as you. Of course, for me, it’s an honour I will be captain for my team-mates and being captain of Manchester United is important for me”.

Anthony Martial is expected to start this match, given that he is still suspended in the Premier League due to his red card against Tottenham.

Opposition: PSG

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When assessing PSG, it is hard to look anywhere but their attack. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar are two of the world’s greatest footballers, and when they are on form, there is no defence in the world that can deal with them, let alone one with its captain missing.

Left winger Neymar is known for his skilful runs, almost toying with the opposition at times, whilst young French forward Mbappe is a truly generational talent who can score goals from nothing.

To combat the attacking strength of the Parisians, United will likely opt with a back five, with the potential of seeing Alex Telles make his debut for the club, as Luke Shaw has previously played on the left of three centre halves. The transition from defence to attack, and the counter attacking play, will therefore be crucial for United to get anything out of the match.

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Former Reds’ fan favourite Ander Herrera is expected to start for PSG, and will most probably be tasked with man-marking Bruno Fernandes, and will be told to not leave his side for the entire match, much like he did a number of times at Old Trafford, memorably doing so against Eden Hazard and Chelsea in 2017.

Key Stats

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Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain have faced each other just twice in their history. Both games came in the Champions League round of 16 in 2019; PSG winning the first leg 2-0 before United famously won 3-1 in the second leg, knocking last year’s runner up out.

The hosts have not lost a Champions League group stage match since 2004, against CSKA Moscow.

United haven’t beaten a French side away from home in the Champions League group stage since 2000.


Paris Saint Germain 2-2 Manchester United. Goals from Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes.

Match Preview Writer

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