The Red Devils visit Le Parc des Princes tomorrow for the PSG Vs United clash, their second leg Champions League encounter against the French champions. The first leg ended in a disappointing 2-0 loss for the home team at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, since his arrival has stabled the United ship quite excellently, from the turbulence it was seemingly under in December, before his appointment.
Since he replaced Mourinho, he has earned thirty two points in twelve league games. And also got the likes of Rashford, Martial, and Pogba to name a few firing for United.
In an ever inspiring caretaker role, his only blip came in the Champions League against Paris Saint Germain at home.
Back then, his side we’re uncharacteristically blown away in the second half, as United meekly surrendered the leg due to crucial injuries late in the first half, with both Martial and Lingard having had to withdraw before the half had concluded and then following on that with a late red card for the disgruntled Paul Pogba.
Since that defeat, United have gone on to beat Chelsea away in the FA cup, recovering to earn a fair draw against Liverpool after succumbing to three first half injuries, beat Palace away from home, and came back to win against Southampton to win in “Fergie time”.
Despite their heroics since then, United will be the under dogs and under an enormous amount of pressure as they go to Paris, hoping to overturn a two nil away goal deficit.
Credit where its due, Ole has faired fairly well in keeping the momentum going even after suffering as many as nine first team injuries. It is being reported that he will be traveling to Paris with potentially as little as ten senior outfield players to call upon.
Here’s a look at how the Red Devils could line up for the PSG Vs United at Les Parc des Princes:
Formation : 4-4-2 (Diamond)
With injuries to his favoured wing options, Ole will certainly have to tweak his formation to accommodate and to achieve the maximum results possible in each and every game.
This has seen his favored 4-2-3-1 formation being put on hold and having had to pull up a 4-4-2 diamond formation to accommodate both Lukaku and Rashford in his team.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
With De Gea almost over his post world cup hangover, it’s pretty visible that the changes displayed, have been demonstrative of his performances, in particular the one against Tottenham at Wembley last January.
Ole will certainly be hoping for another goalkeeping Master class by De Gea if United are to progress to the next round.
Back four: Young, Lindelof, Smalling, Shaw
Ashley Young is set to start as neither Dalot has done enough to move him from that position, neither has Valencia returned from his injury to stake a claim.
Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling have formed a solid partnership and one that Ole would look to rely on, as he aims to keep Mbappe and company at Bay for the PSG Vs United clash during the second leg.
Both centre backs have been pretty impressive and solid with their performances, especially Lindelof who’s reached a whole new level ever since Ole’s appointment.
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There is no question as to who starts at left back in the PSG Vs United game. This season Luke Shaw has gone from strength to strength and is the only one who deserves to start for this crucial encounter.
From scoring his first career goal at the opening day of the season to keeping Mo Salah quiet when Liverpool visited Old Trafford, he is certainly enjoying his best season at United yet. Coupled with a new contract and qualifying to the next round by knocking out PSG will be another feather that he will most certainly be looking to add to his cap this season.
Midfield Diamond: Mctominay, Fred, Periera, Dalot
Fred is the obvious starter for the PSG Vs United fixture as he’s the like for like replacement for the suspended Paul Pogba. Ole believes that Fred has what it takes to turn the slow start to his United career around.
Since Matic has been injured and Herrera having had to depart early against Liverpool, Mctominay has taken up the destroyer role for the team and seems to be relishing it.
He has started the last two games and has been impressing Ole and the United faithful alike.
Periera whose contract is up this summer was linked with a January move away, but didn’t materialise and last Saturday he came up with a sweet strike against Southampton in a 3-2 win for United to prove his mettle and justify his inclusion in the team.
He was always lauded and loved by United fans and this run of fixtures might persuade him to stay on even after this season despite his contract issues.
Dalot has been the surprise package, operating on the right of the diamond and giving width and support alike. He effortlessly pops up down the right to provide crosses into the box, and also offers defensive solidity to the flying Young.
United travelling squad vs PSG:
De Gea, Romero, Grant
Bailly, Dalot, Lindelof, Rojo, Shaw, Smalling, Williams, Young
Fred, Garner, Gomes, McTominay, Pereira
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) March 5, 2019
Angel Gomes, James Garner are among the traveling playing staff who might also be called into action, further into the PSG Vs United match if the need arrives.
Front Two: Lukaku and Rashford
Rashford has enjoyed a renaissance since Ole’s appointment becoming the main man up top for United, with the obvious victim of this being Lukaku.
But with the recent injuries to United’s wing options, Lukaku has seen himself back in favour in a two man attacking set up which has seen him enjoy a great deal of form and game time alike.
Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood are also the rumoured attacking options to be traveling to Paris as part of the playing squad who might be called onto action as and when required during the PSG Vs United clash.