Man Utd have perfect opportunity to use new formation in Champions League opener vs PSG

Manchester United could well deploy a makeshift back three with both Harry Maguire and Eric Bailly out to help cope with Paris Saint-Germain’s potent attacking threat. The Red Devils get their Champions League campaign underway this evening when they take on Ligue 1 giants PSG.

But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not be at full strength with both Maguire and Bailly not travelling with the squad to Paris.

Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood are also unavailable due to injury, meaning Solskjaer will be forced to make some changes.

Juan Mata came in for Greenwood at the weekend for the match against Newcastle and impressed out on the right wing.

However, Solskjaer has rarely started the 32-year-old in successive games, particularly with just a few days rest.

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The United boss has opted to stick with a front three since taking charge at Old Trafford but given his limited options, it may be an opportunity to change the line-up around to cause an upset against PSG.

The injuries to Maguire and Bailly also means United are short of options in central defence, with Tuanzebe expected to feature alongside Lindelof.

United may need to take a similar approach to what they did back in March 2019 though to cope with PSG’s potent attacking threat of Angel Di Maria, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Solskjaer shifted to five at the back in that infamous 3-1 win over PSG 18 months ago which allowed more room for his attack-minded players to focus on getting forward.


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The United boss didn’t have Bruno Fernandes or Donny van de Beek at his disposal then while Paul Pogba was out injured.

But if Solskjaer does opt to go with a back five, this game might be the perfect opportunity to bring in their three most forward-minded midfielders.

A back three of Luke Shaw, Tuanzebe and Lindelof with Alex Telles and Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the wings would bring more defensive stability with Maguire and Bailly out injured.

One of Pogba, Van de Beek and Fernandes would be expected to provide some cover at the back, but they’re attacking threat would also force PSG on the back foot.

That would also give Solskjaer the opportunity to play Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford alongside each other up top.

The attacking duo of Rashford and Romelu Lukaku caused PSG nightmares last time the two teams faced each other.

And PSG haven’t looked as threatening this season having already lost twice in Ligue 1.

United have high aspirations to return to the top of European football and playing an attack-minded line-up against last season’s finalists could be perfect opportunity to lay down a marker to their rivals.

Possible Man Utd XI: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Tuanzebe, Shaw, Telles; Pogba, Van de Beek, Fernandes; Martial, Rashford

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