Unbeaten in 11 games, home advantage in the first leg of their last 16 Champions League clash with PSG and no Cavani or Neymar for the French champions, Manchester United must be wondering who is writing their scripts at the moment. Form Labs return with their betting preview and tips for the game and if you are after some Champions League value then you have come to the right place! Head over to our Fan Boosts section and check out our selection of enhanced odds available.
Preparations Not Ideal For PSG
The build-up for this clash hasn’t been ideal for the Parisians as they lost for the first time in the league at Lyon last weekend, before requiring extra-time to down third-tier outfit Villefranche in the Coupe de France.
They may have gotten back to winning ways in Ligue 1 this weekend hosting Bordeaux, but the 1-0 victory isn’t the same kind of commanding margin they’re used to domestically, while they also lost Edinson Cavani to injury after he scored the penalty that gave them the three points.
He joins Neymar on the sidelines and that only leaves Kylian Mbappe amongst PSG’s first choice front three, while they also lost right-back Thomas Meunier against Bordeaux.
Verratti Expected To Start
That will undoubtedly weaken their team and, though Marco Verratti is back and should start here, it remains doubtful whether he’ll complete more than 45 minutes at present and his presence is arguably more important than that of the Brazilian superstar.
Indeed, the Italian missed the recent defeat at Lyon when Tomas Tuchel opted to plump for centre-back Marquinhos at the base of midfield, which was the case when Liverpool beat them at Anfield in the group stages, as well as their only other defeat this season when hosting Guingamp in the Coupe de la Ligue.
The German coach didn’t get the central midfielders he lobbied sporting director Antero Henrique for in January and has sidelined Adrien Rabiot after the 23-year-old refused to sign a new deal, with the Frenchman having been training with the reserves.
Frankly, that could well come back to haunt the visitors given the fine form Paul Pogba is currently enjoying, and so it would be a surprise if the Red Devils didn’t take charge of proceedings in the middle of the park.
The Parisians also lack the depth to cover for the main stars up front, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – who has a solitary goal in 685 minutes of action across all competitions this term – their only centre-forward back up for Cavani. That should mean a central role for Mbappe, with Dani Alves and Angel Di Maria expected to attack from the wide positions.
PSG Never Progressed Beyond Last 16
Despite the sacks full of cash showered over the squad, PSG have never made it beyond the quarter-finals under their Qatari ownership and have crashed out at the last 16 in each of the past two seasons.
Their away record has been largely to thank for the failure, and excluding wins over the likes of Crvena Zvezda, Anderlecht, Celtic, Basel and Ludogorets, they’ve only managed stalemates with weaker top guns Arsenal and Napoli, as well as defeats to heavyweights Liverpool, Real Madrid, Bayern and Barca since 2016/17.
In fact, Chelsea are the only top side they’ve beaten on the road under current ownership going back years, and taking their decimated team to a rejuvenated United, there should be a familiar story on display at Old Trafford.
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