UEFA Champions League 2018/19: Manchester United vs PSG, 5 key battles

UEFA Champions League nights are back with a bang as Paris Saint-Germain take on Manchester United in what is expected to be a fine contest between two heavyweights.

The Red Devils have rejuvenated under the tutelage of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and are yet to lose a game under the stewardship of the Norwegian. Meanwhile, PSG are hampered with injuries to key players like Neymar, Thomas Meunier and Edinson Cavani.

Even then, however, the French giants have enough fire-power to provide a feisty fight against the Red Devil. So, here are the five key battles to look forward to.

#5 Thilo Kehrer vs Anthony Martial

Manchester United star Anthony Martial

With the injury to Thomas Meunier, Thomas Tuchel might be tempted to use Thilo Kehrer at the right hand side of defence. That would mean that the youngster will be up against the in-form Anthony Martial.

The Frenchman has been in great form ever since Jose Mourinho was sacked and it would be quite a task for Kehrer to contain him. However, Kehrer is a good defender, so life could be hard for the former Monaco star.

#4 Marcus Rashford vs Thiago Silva

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford

The young Englishman was rested during the weekend game against Fulham and would be raring to go. Rashford is another player who has been phenomenal since the departure of Jose Mourinho.

However, he will be up against the great Thiago Silva, whose experience puts him above the rest. It should be a battle of young legs against a calm and wise head.

#3 Dani Alves vs Paul Pogba

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba

Dani Alves might have made his name at right-back but the Brazilian often finds himself playing in midfield. It could be either him or winter hire Leandro Paredes but the general consensus is that Tuchel might not play a new signing in a game of such magnitude.

The Brazilian, if he plays in midfield, should be up against another player who has become unstoppable after the departure of Jose Mourinho: Paul Pogba. The French World Cup winner has 11 goals and 8 assists from 23 games in the Premier League so far this season. So it will be quite a task to stop him.

#2 Kylian Mbappe vs United defense

With Neymar and Cavani out of the clash, we may get to see Mbappe as the focal point in attack. He is already a phenomenon on the right flank, take him to the center and he might become another ‘beast’ entirely.

He will be up against a United defense that has been very good since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over but we all saw the shortcomings of this United backline in the earlier half of the season.

#1 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer vs Thomas Tuchel

Speaking of Solskjaer, this is a tie that could make or break his managerial career at Manchester United. The same could be said for Thomas Tuchel since winning the Ligue 1 with PSG is not considered entirely a big feat.

As a result, this match becomes very crucial for both these coaches with regards to their future at their respective clubs. Will a tactically flexible Tuchel win or will an inspiring Norwegian prevail?

 

Comments