Not even Paris Saint-Germain can mess this up, can they? PSG have been snakebitten in the Champions League. They have made a mockery of the French league, but they keep finding more and more absurd ways to lose in the Champions League, and they have yet to make it past the Quarterfinals of the competition. PSG are in a commanding position coming into the second leg of their tie against Manchester United, but they are hoping that something new doesn’t rear its ugly head and lead to them missing out.
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Paris Saint-Germain vs Manchester United
- Date and Time: March 6, 2019, 3 p.m. ET
- Location: Parc des Princes, Paris, France
- US Television Coverage: TNT
- Betting Line: Paris Saint-Germain -1, O/U 2.5 and 3
Manchester United are somewhat lucky to even be in this spot. They were a disaster under Jose Mourinho for the first four months of the season, and they floundered in both the Premier League and their cup ties. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has turned around their fortunes in both departments. The Red Devils have looked sharp since his arrival in mid-December, and they are one point behind Arsenal for fourth in the league.
PSG are already 17 points ahead of the next closest team in Ligue 1, and their +63 goal differential highlights how thoroughly they have dominated the league. They had little trouble getting past Manchester United in their first leg too. The Parisian club was missing Neymar and Edinson Cavani, but they picked up goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe in order to secure a 2-0 win in Old Trafford.
The list of injuries for Manchester United ahead of this match is quite something. The Red Devils may be without as many as five of the six starters up front and in the midfield from the first leg of their tie with PSG. Jesse Lingard, Ander Herrera, and Nemanja Matic will miss the match due to injury, while Anthony Martial is questionable due to injury and Paul Pogba will be facing a one-game suspension. Juan Mata and Antonio Valencia will be on the sidelines with injuries too, while Matteo Darmian is doubtful and Phil Jones is probable.
Neymar and Edinson Cavani continue to headline the list of injuries for PSG. Neymar is one of the best players in the world, so not having him for a second straight Champions League campaign certainly hurts, and the loss of Cavani has been big too.
Manchester United Player to Watch
Without so many regular starters, the best players on this roster will carry an additional burden. Chief among them for Manchester United will be Marcus Rashford. Rashford has been electrifying at times this season, but even he is just now coming back from injury. He will be asked to do more than usual with so many contributors absent.
Paris Saint-Germain Player to Watch
Kylian Mbappe continues to amaze. The young forward has 27 goals and 14 assists in 31 matches across all competitions for PSG this season. He has stepped up his game with Neymar and Cavani missing significant amounts of time, and he should be a terror along the back line on Wednesday.
Champions League Free Picks
This is going to be a high-scoring affair. I expect Solskjaer to go after the goals he needs earlier than most managers in a similar situation, as PSG has had trouble dealing with teams that continually press the attack in the past. It won’t be enough, but it will make this one entertaining.
Champions League Prediction: Paris Saint-Germain 3, Manchester United 2
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