Fri. Jan 22nd, 2021

Man Utd

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Why Van de Beek isn’t starting for Manchester United vs PSG

2 min read

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has picked Scott McTominay ahead of Donny van de Beek in the Manchester United midfield to face Paris Saint-Germain because he wanted “fresh legs”.

McTominay has been absent for United’s last two games with injury but he’s fit enough to start against the French champions and he’s replaced the in-form Van de Beek.

Solskjaer has prioritised McTominay’s freshness for a game that could seal United’s Champions League qualification, while Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani have also come into the team that won at Southampton.

Martial missed the St Mary’s fixture through illness, while Cavani came on to inspire United’s comeback in a 3-2 win, but Solskjaer revealed he was always due to start against his former club.

“We know that we play against a good team, we need some fresh legs out there with Scott, he’s just got back from injury,” Solskjaer told MUTV. “Anthony was supposed to play against Southampton and is looking sharp again. With Edinson and the impact he made, it was always the case that I’d looked at this game with Edinson up front.”

Cavani is flanked by Martial and Marcus Rashford, just as he was during the 4-1 win against Istanbul Basaksehir a week ago.

But Solskjaer is also wary of the threat PSG pose on the break tonight, especially with their own Champions League future hanging in the balance.

“It’s a similar set-up to the Istanbul game,” said Solskjaer. “We felt we found a good balance there but we’re playing against a team with some individual attacking players that you don’t see very often so we have to defend well as a team, make sure we’re compact, don’t give them any space on the counter-attacks with the pace they have up front, but if we’re good on the ball we should be creating chances.”

United were 2-1 winners in Paris at the start of the group stage to take control of what looked a taxing group and Solskjaer is looking forward to the return, despite the absence of fans once again.

“Champions League nights, everyone when they were kids wanted to play against the best players and the best teams in the world, at Old Trafford there’s no better stage it’s just too bad we can’t have the support the players deserve,” he said.

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