CHRIS SUTTON: Manchester United do best when they have less of the ball… despite being at home, they should counter-attack against Paris Saint-Germain if they want to progress to the Champions League knockout stages on Wednesday night
- Manchester United had 39 per cent possession at the Parc des Princes and won
- Fred and Scott McTominay frustrated Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in that game
- Playing a 3-4-1-2 system with Bruno Fernandes supplying the forwards may work
- Edinson Cavani should start after his goalscoring exploits against Southampton
Manchester United are good at getting results when they relinquish possession and target opponents on the counter-attack.
Look at their first two group games in the Champions League this season. Away to Paris Saint-Germain, United had 39 per cent possession, and won 2-1. Home to RB Leipzig, United had 47 per cent, and won 5-0.
Problems can crop up when they try to dominate the contest. In their third group game, at Istanbul Basaksehir, United had 68 per cent and lost 2-1.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may well adopt a counter-attacking approach despite being at home
Marcus Rashford scored a late winner at the Parc des Princes when Manchester United won 2-1
So tonight against PSG, even though United are at Old Trafford, I’d say relying on the counter and providing protection in front of the defence is key.
That might not be what United got used to under Sir Alex Ferguson, when they would forever take the game to the opposition, but it works for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Fred and Scott McTominay — in front of a back three of Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof and Axel Tuanzebe — did a job on PSG at the Parc des Princes in October. Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel di Maria were frustrated throughout.
Paris Saint-Germain have squandered leads against Monaco and Bordeaux recently in Ligue 1
Edinson Cavani will hope to replicate Sunday’s brilliance against the club that released him
Using that 3-4-1-2 system again might not be the worst idea. When you win the ball, you give it to Bruno Fernandes, as he is more than capable of playing passes into the channels for the forwards to chase.
We know Solskjaer likes his split strikers, so the next question is: does Edinson Cavani start against his old club? As a former striker, I’d be less than pleased if I’d scored two goals and assisted one as a substitute in a 3-2 win then was back on the bench. That would be harsh on Cavani, and I’d like to see him start.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1