Man Utd v PSG Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 12/02/19
James Cormack (@jamesxyyx) previews Manchester United v PSG and provides us with his best bets for the first leg of this Champions League round of 16 tie by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: –3.44pts
Manchester United v PSG Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 12/02/19
- Time: 20:00
- Venue: Old Trafford
- Channel: BT Sport 2
The Champions League knockout stages get underway with one of the ties of the round as French powerhouse PSG travel to Manchester to take on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s revitalised Manchester United side in the first leg.
When the draw was made back in mid-December, Man United under Jose Mourinho were closer to Brighton in 13th than they were to Chelsea in fourth. The draw would’ve had many United fans dreading the 12th February and the 6th March with a potential humiliation on the cards.
However, times have very much changed under ‘interim’ boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Since the Norwegian oversaw his first game in charge back on the 22nd December, United have only dropped points once in nine PL games and have progressed to the FA Cup 5th round by beating Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates. United could come into this fixture in a Champions League spot depending on Chelsea’s result at City on Sunday (were 10pts off when OGS took over).
The rejuvenation of some of United’s key players has been vital to their success. Since OGS took over, Paul Pogba has been in PFA POTY form, scoring 8 and setting up 5 in 9 league games whilst Marcus Rashford has scored 6 in his last 8 league appearances. The likes of Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof have seen their performance levels significantly increase as of late as well.
Despite all the success that Solskjaer has had since taking over, there’s no doubt that these two legs will be his toughest test yet, even though they are Neymar-less.
PSG have dominated Ligue 1 for the past decade, winning 5 titles in the last 6 seasons and they look well on course to add another domestic title this season. However, with all the money they have spent over recent years, there’s no doubt that they’ve under-achieved massively in Europe’s elite competition. The French giants haven’t got past the quarter-final stage since the George Weah days and have been eliminated at this stage in the past two seasons (including that collapse at Barcelona).
After watching their game at Lyon last week, it was clear to see how much they missed Neymar going forward, especially in transition. They had the legs to counter-attack with Cavani, Di Maria and Mbappe but the precision and decision-making was poor when they got into the final third. In order to create openings on Tuesday, PSG will need to press and recover the ball high up the pitch, something they tend to do well and was effective on occasions against Lyon. However, if Verratti and Cavani aren’t fit for Tuesday, I think they’ll find it difficult going forward and Tuchel will have to rely on his not-so-elite backline to get him something from Old Trafford.
United will likely have three defenders out for this one with Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo all sidelined.
For PSG, Neymar is of course out with a foot injury that is set to keep him out for about 8-9 more weeks. There were also major injury concerns after Saturday’s game against Bordeaux with Marco Verratti and Edinson Cavani both taken off injured; they are both doubts for this fixture.
Potential Man United Starting XI: De Gea, Young, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw, Matic, Herrera, Pogba, Martial, Rashford, Lingard.
Potential PSG Starting XI: Buffon, Alves, Kehrer, Kimpembe, Silva, Bernat, Paredes, Marquinhos, Di Maria, Draxler, Mbappe.
Head To Head
- This is the first time these two sides have met in a competitive game.
Key Stats & Facts
- PSG finished top of their group that also had the likes of Napoli and Liverpool.
- United finished second to Juventus in their group but were able to beat the Italian giants in Turin.
- PSG have been knocked out at this stage in the past two seasons. They were knocked out at the QF stage in the four seasons before that.
- United have only progressed to the QF stage on one occasion in their 5 most recent CL campaigns.
- Kylian Mbappe is PSG’s top scorer this season with 21 goals.
- The injured Neymar and potentially sidelined Edinson Cavani have combined for 37 goals and 13 assists this season (Neymar was also PSG’s top scorer in the group stages with 5).
- PSG have only conceded 13 goals in Ligue 1 this season.
- Since OGS took over as manager, United have accumulated the most points in the PL.
- Marcus Rashford and Solskjaer were given Player of the Month and Manager of the Month for January respectively- it was the first time a United manager has won the award since Sir Alex Ferguson.
- Man United 7/5
- Draw 45/17
- PSG 21/10
United are favourites for this one and rightly so. PSG are certainly not the same side without Neymar and could be without key pieces in the form of Verratti and Cavani. PSG’s injury issues along with the form of this United side at the moment that has the likes of Rashford, Martial and Pogba firing on all cylinders means I’m going to back the Red Devils to have an advantage going into the second leg.
Despite backing United to win, Kylian Mbappe to score at 7/4 is great value and one I can’t overlook. The world-cup winner who has achieved so much in such a short period of time has already scored 21 goals this season. His electrifying pace and ability on the ball combined with his composure in front of goal makes him a major threat for any defence. If Cavani is also out, PSG will look to get the 20-year old on the ball as much as possible going forward and will be a tremendous danger to United on the counter.