Opponent Preview: Manchester United vs Paris Saint-Germain

There has been a lot of hype about Manchester United and PSG this summer, but none of it concerning the upcoming friendly in the United States. The transfer targets of the two clubs have put them side by side through out the summer window.

It began with reports coming in about United solving their striker problem by bringing in Paris’ record signing, Edinson Cavani. Now the back pages are flooded with stories claiming that there have been completed deals to take Di Maria to France.


PSG 14/15 Season

Paris Saint-Germain won every French title last season. They claimed their third consecutive Ligue 1; beat Auxerre 1-0 to win the Coupe de France (French Cup); won the Coup de la Ligue (League Cup) by beating Bastia 4-0 and; at the start of the season Paris beat Guingamp 2-0 to win the Trophee des Champions (the French equivalent of the Premier League’s Community Shield) which last year was played in Beijing, China.

They had an incredible season in France. In the Champions League they were knocked out by eventual champions Barcelona in the quarter finals, by an aggregate of 5-1. But, on the way to Barcelona, they managed to fend off Chelsea in the final 16. Plus Paris only had 10 men in the second leg.

 

The French Team vs The Premier League

Everyone in England can remember how deadly one of PSG’s strikers are. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 4 goals against England, at the opening of the Friends Arena in Sweden, will always torment English fans when theirs clubs face him. His overhead kick from 30 yards was particularly magnificent.

However, Zlatan’s current team doesn’t have a great record against English clubs. Over a total of 11 competitive matches against Premier League clubs PSG have only taken the victory in 2 and 5 have resulted in draws. All of these matches were played against either: Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City or Liverpool. Paris Saint-Germain have never United in a competitive match.

 

Pre-Season for Paris

They were 3 for 3 on game wins until they played Chelsea last week. In the 3 wins, Paris never scored less than 3 goals but only kept 1 clean sheet, and that was against a lower league Austrian side. Their other two opponents have been decent sides in the form of Benfica and Fiorentina so the French side have had some fair competition so far.

PSG lost on penalties in their most recent friendly. The Chelsea keeper, Thibaut Courtois, saved a penalty shot and scored the winning spot kick to hand Chelsea the victory. It was a hard fought game with unfriendly like conduct being shown by both teams. Zlatan, minutes before scoring, elbowed John Terry in the head, it looked to be more deliberate than accidental but he did apologise for it afterwards.

Like United, Paris have been rotating their team during this pre-season and fielding a few of their young talents. One of which is 18 year old French-Haitian Jean-Kevin Augustin. He has started every friendly so far and has scored 5 goals in the 4 games. He’s had interest from Premier League sides such as Arsenal and West Ham but PSG have managed to keep hold of the talented young forward.

 

Danger Men

Everyone in PSG’s best XI is world class. The strike force of Zlatan and Cavani converted 37 league goals between them last season. They are backed up by a midfield of flair by the likes of Lucas Moura, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore. The anchor of midfield, Blaise Matuidi is a strong and commanding player with great playmaking ability. Salvatore Sirigu tends the goal and he is very good. He has but 14 appearances for his national team but that’s because he’s been kept out by the mighty Gianluigi Buffon. Paris’ defence is a mix of young talent and experienced international stars and at times can be impenetrable. They also have David Luiz back there too.

 

United’s Challenge

PSG will challenge the Red Devils in every aspect of their game. It should be quite a good match as hopefully the French side will still have that fight in them of which they displayed against Chelsea and; the Manchester United players should all still be battling hard to stake their claim to Louis Van Gaal.

If Jones and Shaw put in poor performances like they did against Barcelona then De Gea’s going to have a busy match. PSG will field a stronger team than Barca did as they won’t be missing so many key players as a result of Copa America participation.


Predictions

It should be a hard fought game with plenty of tackles going in. As it’s a friendly with lots of rotation happening in both sides 2-2 would be a fair estimate. Zlatan will most likely score for the French champions. PSG are very good at attacking set pieces so a goal could come from there. Schweinsteiger will most likely try to improve on his last performance, which earned him a scalding from LvG in the press, so he might try extra hard to get a goal.

About Ben 371 Articles
Recently graduated university, life now revolves around sports, and writing about sport. Has an intricate knowledge of Ice Hockey and World Football but also dabbles in American Football and Heavyweight boxing. He's a very versatile and hard working writer, who uses exceptional English in each article. Trying to get his name out there to hopefully become a professional sports writer.

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