Manchester United host Paris Saint-Germain tonight and the Red Devils must beware a wounded animal.
PSG are backed into a corner, and have been struggling by their own high standards.
They sit third in the group and know a defeat would leave them likely heading towards the Europa League, with United’s place in the last 16 secured.
PSG still sit top of Ligue 1, but their last two domestic results have been poor. They lost 3-2 to Monaco and then drew 2-2 with Bordeaux.
This was enough to prompt crisis talks. Something is not clicking for a club which reached the Champions League final in August.
Le Parisien report PSG are trying to find the ‘spirit of Lisbon’ which saw them reach the final, without success.
They know full well that a group stage exit would not only be a failure of their own ambition, it would be a humiliation.
Manager Thomas Tuchel bemoaned his players as 11 individuals after the draw with Bordeaux, with his summer signings not yet making a big impact.
Le Parisien describe PSG as a ‘fragile’ team at present, but note the French side are looking forward to the game with United.
PSG’s whole motivation is defined by their Champions League quest. Their domestic success is a foregone conclusion at this point. A group stage exit would place more questions over the futures of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, while manager Tuchel may not survive.
Big game for big game players
PSG’s team is packed with star names, and these stars are reportedly excited by the task ahead of them at Old Trafford. It is a challenge they want to rise to.
United must beware PSG and not take anything for granted. This is a team which won 2-0 on their last trip to Old Trafford.
Fortunately, United have a few big game players of our own. Bruno Fernandes led the team in Paris, while Marcus Rashford has five goals in four Champions League games this season.
Edinson Cavani has become United’s wildcard. And this game against his former club PSG is one which may even have swayed his decision to sign at Old Trafford. He has been waiting for this one.
An early goal for United could be decisive. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side need to start fast, with the same energy as against Istanbul Basaksehir.
United will have to defend better than we did in that game. There were too many times the team switched off, and PSG will punish any mistakes.
Their desperation for the win makes them vulnerable and dangerous, it is a double edged sword.
United have a second chance if we lose, but really we do not want to be going to RB Leipzig needing to win against a side vengeful after a 5-0 mauling at Old Trafford.
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