Manchester United return to Champions League action with a trip to face last season’s runners-up on Tuesday night, as Paris Saint-Germain welcome United to the Parc des Princes for their Group H encounter. United made it all the way to the semi-finals of the Europa League in 2019-20, while PSG saw their dreams of European glory ended by Bayern Munich in the Final in Lisbon.
United will be hoping to repeat their heroics the last time they visited the French capital when they beat PSG to progress to the quarter-finals of the 2018-19 Champions League, against all the odds, winning by Marcus Rashford’s contentious 94th-minute penalty.
Man United travel to Paris having won their last nine away games across all competitions, while they are unbeaten in 17 stretching back to January. PSG will be the toughest opponent in Group H.
United’s last visit to the Parc des Prince is the only one of their last five Champions League games in which they have avoided defeat, and another loss on Tuesday would see them lose three successive matches in the competition for only the second time ever.
PSG have certainly not been handed an easy task with a group including United, last season’s semi-finalists RB Leipzig and Turkish champions Istanbul Basaksehir, but they will be expected to progress as group winners nonetheless.
PSG have only ever lost seven of their 53 home Champions League games and have not conceded a goal in four successive such wins since Man United last visited. The Red Devils, incidentally, are looking to become the first visiting team to beat PSG twice at home in the Champions League.
Manchester United Team News
United enter Tuesday healthy and are boosted by ex-PSG striker Edinson Cavani’s deadline-day arrival in contention to make his debut against his former club. The 33-year-old’s is unlikely to be thrown straight into the starting lineup, having not played a competitive fixture since March and only recently entered training with the rest of the squad.
Anthony Martial’s is available, after serving the first of a three-game domestic ban at St James’ Park, is another reason for Solskjaer to only use Cavani off the bench at this stage, with the fresh-legged Frenchman expected to lead the line.
Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes should also start again, although Mason Greenwood is a major doubt after missing the Newcastle game with an unspecified fitness issue. Rumoured PSG target Paul Pogba will be pushing for a return to the starting XI after being dropped at the weekend, while Solskjaer could also look to use the Champions League experience of Nemanja Matic against PSG.
There is also the possibility of a debut for Alex Telles, who was an unused substitute at St James’ Park. David de Gea is likely to keep the gloves, although Solskjaer may be considering the possibility of using the Champions League as a chance to hand a fidgety Dean Henderson more minutes having seen the former Sheffield United loanee keep clean sheets in both outings so far this season but it’s unlikely.
PSG are far from full strength though, with Tuchel claiming that he may only have 11 fit players for United’s visit. Mauro Icardi, Juan Bernat and Thilo Kehrer will all miss the match through injury, while Marquinhos, Marco Verratti, Julian Draxler and Danilo Pereira are major doubts after sitting out at the weekend.
There was better news with Colin Dagba’s coronavirus test proving to be a false positive, while Layvin Kurzawa and former United winger Angel Di Maria, who assisted more goals than anyone else in last season’s Champions League, are available after sitting out on Friday through a domestic suspension. Cavani and Di Maria are not the only familiar faces, with Ander Herrera also in contention to feature for the hosts.
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles; Matic, Pogba; Mata, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial