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Paris Saint-Germain at Manchester United Preview, Picks, and Prediction – 12/2/20

By: Matt Szeliga

December 1st, 2020

Paris Saint-Germain at Manchester United

Spread: PSG (-1); O/U: 2.5

Moneyline: United +185, PSG +140, Draw +250

Time/Location: 3:00 ET, Old Trafford, Manchester, England

Manchester United (WWWWL)

Ole Gunnar Solsjkær’s Red Devils have improved after their 0-0 draw to Arsenal. United on Sunday came back from a 2-0 deficit against Southampton; the performance showcased the squad’s resilience as it was their 5th away game-winning after conceding the first goal. The recent form of Manchester United currently has them sitting 9th in the Premier League table with 16 points, tied with Everton, however, behind a +2 goal differential. Marcus Rashford will play a pivotal role in this match as he has twice before scored the winning goal for United in previous fixtures against Paris Saint-Germain. The Red Devils are expected to be without left-back Luke Shaw, midfielder Donny Van De Beek, and defender Axel Tuanzeb.

Manchester United is full of firepower with Bruno Fernades, who’s notched 10 goals, and the recent emergence of former PSG star Edison Cavani has 3 goals for the Red Devils. Solsjkær’s side can reach the Knockout stages of the champions league if they avoid a defeat against Paris Saint-Germain, and if they win at Old Trafford Wednesday, they will be confirmed winners of their group. Ole Told the Press on Tuesday that David De Gea trained and is fit if called upon. Manchester United will have to be careful during their counter-attack with the elusiveness of Neymar and Mbappe on the other side of the pitch.

Paris Saint-Germain (DWLWL)

PSG’s recent form has been atrocious for their standards; Tuchel’s side has only won 2 of their past 5 matches. Thomas Tuchel, in his pre-match press conference, said, “The last two performances from him [Rashford] against us have been annoying”. Despite sloppy performances across all competitions, Paris Saint-Germain is 1st in Ligue 1 with 26 points. The only absentee from the squad is Juan Bernat; Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera, Neymar, and Killian Mbappe are in the squad for Wednesday’s clash at Old Trafford. Neymar hobbled off the pitch in the 12th minute of the last meeting against Manchester United, and PSG Neymar-less still found the back of the net twice. The French side needs a victory at Old Trafford or a draw due to the expected RB Leipzig victory against Istanbul. 

Kylian Mbappé has played in 8 matches this season and has scored 9 times with 5 assists. Tuchel, in a pre-match press conference, had harsh words to say about his squad, saying, “We had to tell each other the truth. It was not good enough. You can’t have this attitude,” he told RMC Sport on Tuesday. Many key players in the club have voiced the necessity for collective play from the team. If Paris Saint-Germain fails to reach the knockout stage, it may cost Thomas Tuchel his job. With Manchester United’s instability defending, the Parisians will have to depend on their attack per usual to win this match.

Analysis and Pick

PSG’s most glaring vulnerability is their ability to defend counter-attacks and especially when facing players with pace such as Marcus Rashford. Depending on who is put in the starting XI for Manchester United, Bruno Fernandes will ultimately play the most pivotal role in controlling the midfield and creating attacking opportunities. For the Red Devils to prevail in this match, they will need to maintain possession and withhold the counter-attack of Paris Saint-Germain. 

In this picture, both sides are decorated in attacking Talent and have proven their ability to score goals in bunches on multiple occasions. My best bet for this fixture is to Take the Over at 2.5 Goals (-152). In the last meeting of these two sides, 5 goals were scored, with Neymar only playing 10 minutes of the match.