Manchester United’s mettle will certainly be tested on Monday night, as the Red Devils look to bounce back from the first loss suffered in the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era.
Simply put, Paris Saint-Germain were just the superior side. They knew what it took to win and perhaps United will regain that mentality when they re-acclimatise to taking part in those huge Champions League matches.
Things don’t get any easier for the Baby Faced Assassin. Next up is a potentially tricky FA Cup trip to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Thankfully for Solskjaer, his opposite number, Maurizio Sarri, is struggling. After besting Arsenal away from home in the last round, United will be hoping to repeat the feat for a spot in the quarter-final.
Kick-off details: Monday 18th February, 19:30 BST.
Stadium: Stamford Bridge
TV Channel: BBC One
Referee: Kevin Friend.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is yet to meet the media before the huge encounter, but the Norwegian will be sweating on the fitness of some key players. Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Alexis Sanchez are all major doubts.
It doesn’t look as though either Antonio Valencia or Matteo Darmian will have recovered in time to feature, either. Who knows, this may present a few of the young lads with an opportunity to be included in the match-day squad.
United have often struggled at Stamford Bridge, hence why they remain the underdogs despite being in far better form than their opponents. Odds at 5/2 to win the game in 90 minutes must be extremely tempting for the Red Devils loyalists…
Marcus Rashford has been perhaps the most improved United player under Solskjaer. He’s scoring goals for fun after rediscovering form following a return to playing in the main striker role. You can get 6/1 for him to open the scoring, or 21/20 if you fancy him anytime.
Another bet we like is the Both Teams To Score market. United’s defence has been less-than watertight all year. Why should we expect that to change here? The 8/13 shot seems almost nailed on.
Last Meeting: Chelsea 2-2 Manchester United
A leveller deep into injury-time rescued a point for Chelsea during their league encounter. Martial was on fire that game. With a more attack-minded manager, you’d fancy United to at least score twice this time around – thus giving themselves a huge chance to progress.
Match Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Manchester United
The Reds were unlucky not to win on their last visit, but I fancy them to right those wrongs on Monday. Rashford will likely get himself on the score-sheet, while I’ll go for Juan Mata to find the net on his return to Stamford Bridge.