Manchester United vs PSG | Wednesday 2nd December 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
The scene is set at Old Trafford on Wednesday night – the hosts just need a point to guarantee a place in the knockout stages, will that see a more defensive approach from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer?
It’s been a recipe that has worked against PSG before, the contain and counter blueprint that plays to their strengths on the break. Everyone remembers that against-all-odds win last season at the Parc des Princes and they repeated the feat in the reverse fixture this season. That being said, Les Parisiens have won the last two meetings in England, both by a 2-0 scoreline.
PSG ideally need at least a point here, if they lose and Leipzig win in Turkey then they’re in an unenviable position going into a nailbiting final gameweek. Thomas Tuchel should have key Brazilian duo Neymar and Marquinhos fit and available and the German will have been pleased to get some minutes in the legs of tenacious midfielder Marco Verrati who is back after another lay off.
Tuchel will be after a response from a disappointing home draw with a poor Bordeaux side at the weekend, they switched off in the second half, I’m sure their minds were focused firmly on this crucial clash instead.
The betting heat is an intriguing one, PSG are favoured at 6/4 and with the onus on themand United not strictly needing a win it does make sense. But with recent meetings between the two being so contrasting I’d rather look elsewhere.
The card market is certainly one that is drawing my eye with the magnitude of the game. Italian official Daniele Orsato has the whistle and he’s notorious with going to his pocket. He averages 5.1 cards per game over his entire career and on the continent last season he dished out a huge 7 cards per game on average, showing he doesn’t just get them out in his native league of Serie A.
I couldn’t help noticing Mr Orsato was the man in the middle for this fixture, in Manchester, back in February 2019. That day he gave a mammoth 10 cards, including a red card for Paul Pogba.
With pace and trickery in abundance in both attacking line-ups there could be plenty of cynical fouls. Both sides saw two or more cards in the reverse leg in Paris and it’s all pointing to a repeat here which is available to back at a smidgen under even-money with Bet365’s BetBuilder.
I’ll also chance a longshot, following that theme. United have become famed for the amount of penalties they’re getting awarded this season, they fall into the top three in the Premier League and UCL this season for pens awarded and in this time of VAR it’s hardly a surprise.
PSG have been awarded a penalty in their last two UCL games and United have been awarded one in 3 of their 4 games in this competition, including the match in Paris.
Orsato has a decent enough pen record too at around 0.28 per game and these two pick them up more than most. It seems like there is a spot kick in every game, quite often multiple. On BetVictor’s BetBuilder you can get 38/1 on both sides to score a penalty. Surely it’s worth a quid or two?