Manchester United v Paris Saint-Germain Betting Tips & Predictions – Tuesday 12th February 2019

When the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League was made, PSG would've been licking their lips at the prospect of facing then troubled Manchester United. The situation has changed drastically since however, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer transforming the Red Devils into quite the formidable opponent. With PSG also losing their talisman, Neymar, to injury, this now looks a completely different tie and the Red Devils will fancy their chances in the first leg.

The early odds had PSG down as overwhelming 1/5 favourites to progress from this tie but as we approach the first leg you can back them at 4/9 to reach the quarter-finals. Now looking like a far more even bout, will either side be able to land a decisive blow during the opening clash at Old Trafford? If United can get a win, perhaps to nil, they will become favourites for the tie but against a side still packed with classy players, that remains a big ask.

Top Tips

Draw @ 5/2

Both Teams to Score @ 8/15

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Manchester United News: Lukaku admits PSG are favourites

Manchester United Fans in Crowd at Old Trafford
apasciuto, flickr

Romelu Lukaku agrees with the bookies’ assessment of this tie that the Parisians are the most likely side to progress. He refused to big-up his own side’s prospects in the match, simply saying “we will come well prepared and we will see what will happen on the field.” He later went on to tell Canal+ that he believes PSG are one of the favourites for the entire tournament given the talent they have. Such interviews can often be seen as mind games but the Belgian striker’s respect for his upcoming opponent appeared most genuine.

Big Period for Ole and Co

Following this huge Champions League clash United face Chelsea in west London in the FA Cup and then Liverpool at Old Trafford in the league. If they can win all three, their interim manager would be in a great position to claim the job permanently. On the other hand, three lacklustre results would really mean the end of Solskjaer’s extended honeymoon period.

PSG News: Injury woe hurting Neymar

PSG's Parc des Princes
funky1opti, flickr

What can a man who seems to have everything possibly want for his birthday? In the case of Neymar, the Brazilian tearfully asked for a new metatarsal during a speech made at his 27th birthday party. A brief candid moment among all the celebrations saw the global superstar admit how desperately he wanted to return to the pitch. Being sidelined ahead of such an important part of the season is clearly taking its toll on the £200m man who is not expected back for another eight weeks. PSG virtually have the league wrapped up but to go all the way on the biggest stage they will surely need the Brazilian back sooner rather than later.

Mbappe takes positives from defeat

After losing to Lyon earlier in the month, any hopes PSG had of an untouchable domestic season went up in smoke. Spending the entire campaign unbeaten didn’t look out of their reach but on their 21st test, the league leaders were stunned 2-1 by Les Gones. While naturally a disappointing result, one man from the defeated side, Kylian Mbappe, preferred to look on the bright side. The French wonder kid said that facing tough matches is the perfect way to prepare for their trip to Old Trafford, regardless of the result. He may be right but lots of fans would have preferred the morale boost of another win and they head to Old Trafford knowing they are not quite the same team without Neymar.

Analysis: Revitalised United now stand a real chance

Given how poor United frequently looked under Jose Mourinho, they initially didn’t look like standing much of a chance against the French champions. The side that limped into the last 16 however does not resemble the one currently strutting their stuff under Solskjaer. The Norwegian manager has put the spring firmly back into the United step and now the English giants will be backing themselves to take a lead with them to Paris.

Neymar absence a significant blow

With a full strength side at their disposal, PSG would stand a great chance of securing themselves a first-leg lead. As things stand however, the visitors may have to settle for a draw (5/2) as the absence of Neymar rather levels out the playing field. While the French visitors must make do without a key player, their opponents have no major absences to contend with. A full strength Manchester United side features a lot of quality and now the Mourinho shackles are no longer holding them back. Completely reinvigorated by Solskjaer, the home side will be absolutely raring to go here, as will the fans, and we are confident they will be able to match their star-studded opponents on the night.

PSG will still deliver goals

Although unlikely to hit their best without Neymar, PSG will still find the back of the net in this match. Their Brazilian star has netted five of their goals in the competition so far but that’s less than a third of their group stage tally. Somewhat incredibly, each of PSG’s last 10 Champions League matches have seen both teams score, something that must be backed once again (8/15). Thomas Tuchel is not a manager who wants to restrict their forward play so fully expect them to go all out for this bout. Solskjaer’s men have shown they are able to defend in recent weeks but they’ll set out to match fire with fire as they did against Tottenham and Arsenal.

Mbappe to step up

In the absence of Neymar, PSG will have two main attacking outlets for this match. Edison Cavani and Mbappe. Not bad back up! The former has 34 goals in this competition and is not without appeal as anytime goalscorer at his 8/5 price. At the same odds though, you’d be better off backing his younger French teammate. Mpabbe has averaged a goal every 131 minutes in the competition and he doesn’t shirk from a tough away test. Nine of his 13 goals in the Champions League have come outside France as during away matches there tends to be more opportunities for him to exploit his searing pace on the counter.

Recent Matches

Given how often these sides have featured in European competitions, you may be surprised to find out they’ve never once met before in a competitive setting. They did meet in the 2015 edition of the International Champions Cup but with this only being a pre-season tournament, PSG’s 2-0 win is not one that was entered into the history books.

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