With only one defeat to his team so far since taking over as interim manager for Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must be thinking a lot on how he can get his players to overcome the 2-0 deficit against PSG at Old Trafford.
The first leg match wasn’t what Ole and his players were hoping for. The team seemed to have a slight advantage when the news was announced that PSG’s main star player Neymar Jr. would not be playing in the first leg and neither Cavani. But, the absence of the two players seemed to be nothing as PSG got a comfortable 2-0 win as United suffered a few injuries in that encounter.
A match without Paul Pogba
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be sending out his team of Manchester United players to overhaul the 2 goal deficit and lead them into the quarter-final stage of the Champions League without Paul Pogba. Solskjaer had stated before he became United’s caretaker that if were the manager for Manchester United, he would build his team around Paul Pogba, which he has been doing. Paul Pogba is a World Class midfielder and he has been very prolific in the Man United matches ever since the arrival of Solskjaer.
Everyone of United’s fans was hoping that Pogba would have played very well and helped United to get at least a goal in that first leg. But, thanks to ‘an’ unfair referee as many persons may say. Pogba was sent off for receiving a second yellow card of the match. Hence, he will not be playing in this second leg. I know Solskjaer and his teammates will definitely miss him. Nevertheless, he can still be an inspiration to his teammates and offer some very good advice in the pre-match preparation.
Solskjaer’s starting eleven will be so much different from what he had originally planned because before the first match he had Pogba to be included in the first team for every match of the two legs.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has more injury worries
It is unfortunate to say that Manchester United will be going into that second leg without most of its key players due to injury and also a red card. According to Man United news on Sky Sports, Anthony Martial is out of the line up for the match against PSG. So, that’s two French men, a striker and midfielder who will be out of this line-up. Solskjaer is, however, remaining optimistic that we should not give up and is hinting that it’s still possible for Man United to win this match.
But, apart from Martial and Pogba, there are other players that are injured that Solskjaer would have otherwise called upon, and such players are:
Juan Mata, Alexis Sanchez, Phil Jones, Nemanja Matic, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian will be out. Solskjaer has called upon academy players such as Mason Greenwood, Brandon Williams, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and James Garner to travel with the squad.
Manchester United will make history if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players get a 3 goal margin victory or win the match 3-1. As United will be the first team to progress to the quarterfinal in the Champions League after losing the home match by two goals or more. Whatever strategy Solskjaer has, it can work and all Manchester United supporters are hoping that the players will pull through although it’s an uphill task, especially with so many injuries.
Which team do you think will win?
It’s difficult to give Man United the victory before the match begins based on stats and the players that are available that will be the result of the match?
Kylian Mbappe should be playing and so too is Neymar Jr. As well as Kimpembe who scored the first goal for PSG in the first leg. Also, to be included for PSG is a former United player, Angel Dimaria. Based on the match on Saturday vs Southampton, United still has some defensive issues and it is highly likely that PSG will take advantage of that and try to score as many goals as possible.
Before the first leg, United beat Fulham 3-0, but this is the second leg away to PSG and so many football analysts will be giving PSG the win over United due to the number of injuries as well. United had far fewer injuries before the first leg encounter but now without Martial, Pogba and Herrera, defeat is likely for United. But as a Man United supporter, I would rather remain optimistic/hopeful and believe that somehow the Red Devils will leave that match with that victory and march into the quarterfinal.
What is your prediction of the match? Do you think Manchester United can create an upset and qualify for the quarterfinal? Or do you think with PSG being the better of the two teams so far, they will hand United another 2 nil defeat? Let me know what you think.
Marcus Rashford is fit to play!
Marcus Rashford, who now holds the #10 jersey for United, is deemed fit to play and that is a very good sign. He can partner with Romelu Lukaku, who is now in a good form, to create chances and ensure to capitalise so that United gets as many goals as possible. Lukaku seems to be in a red hot form because he scored four goals for United in 2 matches. Let’s hope that his form continues and even upgrade/improve in the match vs PSG, especially.
Rashford took a little knock himself. He had to play the entire match, Liverpool while suffering an injury picked up during that match. He played against Crystal Palace and Southampton. Other players such as Luke Shaw has been impressive lately and is expected to join the Man United team in France to play PSG.
Solskjaer is preparing to win
Based on his recent conferences, Solskjaer seems that he is willing to make the players put out all the efforts possible to get that desired victory. He is not giving up. He believes in his players very much, especially when he expressed that he is pleased with Luke Shaw’s previous performances. He also stated that when players are confident, they play well and then their confidence grows when they play very well.
Without Pogba, Martial, Sanchez and others such as Herrera it will be very difficult. But this can be a chance for Rashford and Lukaku to shine very bright and lead the other players on the attack while inspiring their fellow teammates, especially the academy players such as Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong. Lukaku should be on his form still and shows signs of improvement.
Thank you for reading. Let me know what you think about this match, and if you have any comments to make about any of the players please do so in the comments section below. Thank you.