No matter how much money Paris Saint-Germain spends, they can’t get past the quarterfinals of the Champions League. PSG have made it out of the group stage in seven straight seasons, but they have fallen flat in the knockout rounds. The club has spent an increasing amount of money in order to try to break through, but so far that has had negative results as they were one and done in the Round of 16 in each of the last two seasons. They will try to avoid it happening for the third time in a row against Manchester United.
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Manchester United vs Paris Saint-Germain
- Date and Time: February 12, 2019, 3 p.m. ET
- Location: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
- US Television Coverage: TNT
- Betting Line: Manchester United PK -117, O/U 2.5 and 3
All they needed was a change. Replacing Jose Mourinho with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done wonders for Manchester United. The club has improved significantly and they are now just two points outside of a spot in the top four. The Red Devils have won nine of their last 10 matches, and they have been far more active on the score sheet than they were under Mourinho. They have scored 25 goals in those 10 matches, and that has them feeling far more confident than they did after a lackluster first four months.
PSG have been trending in the opposite direction, but not by much. Another Ligue 1 title seems all but locked up at this point, yet the club just missed out on another chance at immortality. They were undefeated in league play until a stunning 2-1 loss at the hands of Lyon last week. However, Champions League immortality is what this team is really after. PSG have to feel good about topping the toughest group during the group stage, but anything other than a spot in the semifinals would be another massive disappointment.
Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia, and Matteo Darmian have all been listed as out for Manchester United. The club was really hoping to get Rojo and Valencia back to help in defense, but they are out for a couple weeks longer due to injuries.
As for PSG, the big story is once again Neymar. For the second straight year, Neymar suffered a major injury just before the knockout rounds and the club will not be without him for another two months as he recovers from a broken metatarsal. Marco Verratti will also miss the match after suffering another injury while rehabbing a hurt ankle.
Paris Saint-Germain Player to Watch
Kylian Mbappe has been one of the players to take on an even bigger role without Neymar in the lineup. Mbappe is one of the best forwards in the world, and he has not had much of a challenge in league play given his immense talent. He is averaging more than a goal per game, and his combination of pace and power make him tough for any defense to stop.
Manchester United Player to Watch
Paul Pogba has flourished under Solskjaer. He and Mourinho clashed often about his role with the club, and it looks like Pogba has been vindicated given the club’s about face. Pogba is a dynamic playmaker in the midfield, and the offense is now running through him. He has made United more explosive, and he has nine goals and eight assists in 22 domestic matches.
Champions League Free Picks
The odds in this one have changed quite a bit over the last couple months. Originally, PSG were large favorites given the contrast between their form and Manchester United’s form, but the script has been flipped a bit. PSG look more vulnerable, and Manchester United have been much sharper. Many are now thinking that United can pull off the upset, but not me. I’ll stick with the more talented team.
Champions League Prediction: Paris Saint-Germain 2, Manchester United 0
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