2020-21 UEFA Champions League Group Stage: PSG vs Manchester United

Last season’s losing finalists, PSG face a tough test as they host Manchester United in Group H in their 2020-21 Champions League opener at Parc Des Princes.

PSG will be looking to bounce back from heartbreak of losing last season’s Final with a positive result but Man Utd will be looking to cause more drama like they did on their last visit in March 2019, when they dumped PSG out of the competition on away goals with a controversial late penalty.

 

Team News

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Mauro Icardi is ruled out for PSG with a knee injury suffered last Wednesday .

Leandro Paredes (thigh), Marco Verratti (leg), Thilo Kehrer (hip) and Juan Bernat (knee) are also sidelined but Marquinhos and Julian Draxler could feature after recovering from injury which saw the pair miss PSG’s win in Nimes on Friday evening.

Former Red Devil, Ander Herrera is self-isolating after testing positive for Coronavirus but Danilo Pereira is expected to feature if he returns a negative test.

Man Utd will welcome Anthony Martial back into the matchday squad because his suspension only applies to domestic matches.

Axel Tuanzebe (foot) could feature but Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood (both fitness), Jesse Lingard (hip), Eric Bailly (hamstring), Harry Maguire (muscle) and Phil Jones (knee) are ruled out.

 

Stat Attack

  • PSG are yet to draw against Manchester United after two previous meetings, of which both came in Last 16 stage of 2018-19 Champions League (W1, L1).
  • Man Utd won on their only previous trip to PSG, winning 3-1 to ultimately progress 3-2 on aggregate (W1).
  • PSG are unbeaten in four of last six European clashes against English opposition (W2, D2, L1).
  • Man Utd have lost just one of their last five Champions League games against French opposition (W4, D1, L1).
  • Utd’s Bruno Fernandes has scored from the penalty spot in three of the Red Devils; last four away matches in all competitions.

 

Prediction

Having made a slow start to the season, PSG will certainly be relishing this clash after winning their last five matches but with players out through a mixture of injury and Coronavirus, Thomas Tuchel will need a tactical masterclass with new signings – Moise Kean and Rafinha making instant impact if they’re to win this.

Man Utd meanwhile come into this match off the back of a dominant performance at Newcastle United in which they played a high pressing style which was ultimately rewarded with a 4-1 win, although I genuinely can’t see them enjoying the same success here if Neymar and Kylian Mbappe both start given their serious defensive issues which has been exposed many times already this season.

Either way, this will be an interesting clash and with the addition of Cavani who left the French domestic champions in summer available to at least provide tactical insight, Utd should at least make a game of this even if they likely lose.

Prediction: PSG 2-1 Manchester United

Result: PSG 1-2 Manchester United

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