Manchester United have it all to do as they head to Paris needing to stage another famous Champions League comeback against Paris Saint-Germain.
The French giants took the wind out of United’s sails with a comprehensive 2-0 win at Old Trafford in the first leg of their last-16 tie.
Nearly 20 years on, has Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got another Champions League moment of magic up his sleeve?
I’ve said PSG will win the Champions League this season – and I’m sticking to it. So as much as I’d like to see Manchester United go through tonight, I just can’t see it happening. PSG are formidable at home and I I think United will really miss Paul Pogba tonight. Plus, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side shipped two goals against Southampton at the weekend – and I suspect his defence will struggle to handle Kylian Mbappe again. For the sake of English football, let’s hope I’m massively wrong!
It would a tough enough task to overturn a two-goal deficit in Paris with a full-strength side, let alone one ravaged by injuries. PSG proved too strong for United on their own turf so it’s difficult to see past a routine win for Thomas Tuchel’s men. Fred couldn’t get near the squad a few weeks ago, yet he will start in the French capital given the extent of their injury problems. Unfortunately, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t have the options on the bench either.
I fancy United to bring the tie to life by getting an away goal early on. They have nothing to lose and their best bet is to get at the French champions from the off. But PSG will have too much for them though, as the game goes on. Their midfield should be far too strong for the likes of McTominay and Pereira, in what will be the biggest game of their careers. I’d have to tip the hosts to win 3-1 on the night.
PSG contained United and picked them off at will three weeks ago. And unfortunately, without Paul Pogba and a host of others through injury, this could get very messy for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. The Parc des Princes will want entertaining and won’t just let this tie run its apparent course. And with Solskjaer saying United are going to give this a go, you have to worry about a young side not just getting picked off this time, but comprehensively dominated. As such, it’s going to be a long night – put me down for a 4-1 home win.
If anyone can mastermind something in Europe when all seems lost it’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. If he can, the job is his no questions asked. Realistically, United have just too many injuries and suspensions in too many key positions to make a real game of this. Having ten absentees would challenge most sides at home to bottom-of-the-league on any given Saturday afternoon. But away to multi-talented PSG, behind 2-0 and having been played off the park in the first leg then this is already looking like a damage limitation exercise. That said we’ve already seen some barely believable Champions League stories this season. Who would have had Ajax scoring four in Madrid? Or put money on injury-hit Tottenham to wipe the floor with Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund? If they can score first, who knows.