Manchester United will be looking to take full advantage of Paris Saint-Germain’s injury troubles when the teams meet in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
The Red Devils probably feared the worst when the draw for the first knockout round was made in December, as at the time they were struggling for form under Jose Mourinho and had limped through the group stage.
However, Mourinho was replaced as manager by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on an interim basis just before Christmas and the Norwegian has certainly helped turn United’s season around, as they have won 10 and drawn one of his 11 games in charge.
Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Fulham in the Premier League also acted as the perfect preparation for Tuesday’s match, as Solskjaer was able to rest key players like Marcus Rashford, while Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial were replaced during the second half.
United are priced at 11/8 to win the match and that may represent good value, given the Parisians’ ongoing injury problems.
It had already been confirmed that talisman Neymar would miss out, not only Tuesday’s match but the entire tie after he broke his metatarsal during a French Cup clash with Strasbourg last month, but now Edinson Cavani has also been ruled out of the first leg.
The Uruguayan injured a tendon in his hip during PSG’s 1-0 victory over Bordeaux in Ligue 1 on Saturday, while a concussion also means full-back Thomas Meunier will not feature.
Kylian Mbappe is still available to coach Thomas Tuchel and he is likely to provide the visitors’ main goal threat.
It is certainly easy to see PSG getting what could be a crucial away goal during the contest and, at 23/17 to be an anytime scorer, Mbappe may be a shrewd bet.
Marco Verratti is also in line to feature after he made his return from an ankle injury against Bordeaux and the Italian’s bite in midfield will certainly strengthen PSG’s resolve.
Tuesday will be the first time the two teams have ever met in the Champions League, with their last meeting in any competition coming in the summer of 2015 when PSG claimed a 2-0 victory in the International Champions Cup.