Manchester United vs PSG: 3 crucial factors to watch out for

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When Manchester United were paired with Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last-16 draw in December there seemed likely to be only one victor.

The Argentine, who turns 31 later this week, has a vital role to play for PSG in its crunch Champions League last 16, first leg against a resurgent United with Neymar and Cavani out injured.

Manchester United have won 10 of their 11 games under the Norwegian since his appointment as the club's interim boss following the sacking of Jose Mourinho back in December.

In the absence of Neymar and Cavani, di Maria's performance will be of further importance to PSG on a night when he was always going to be scrutinised anyway due to his past connections with United.

A 3-0 victory over Chievo Verona has allowed Roma to breathe a little easier after three consecutive blows, most notably the 7-1 defeat at the hands of Fiorentina as they were eliminated from the Coppa Italia. PSG has flattered to deceive in the knockouts of the Champions League and that has got a lot to do with what the cognoscenti term "Champions League Pedigree" which roughly means the big game mentality.

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While many have been surprised by his turn in form, PSG's Thomas Tuchel believes the player has incredible qualities.

We've given ourselves the best possible opportunity because of the way we've come into this game. "When you see that front three (of Neymar, Cavani and Kylian Mbappe), you know how they will play so we are guessing a bit".

"Paul (Pogba), who can stop you box to box?"

"I have a message for all players and supporters of Manchester United". Draxler said. "We will need him without Cavani and Neymar".

His manager that year, Louis van Gaal, had hailed Di Maria as "world class" on his arrival, but their relationship quickly turned sour, with the player blaming the Dutchman for playing him out of position. "I'm anxious because we are missing key players. I'll try to put in a great performance". Thomas Tuchel is understandably keen to bolster an already light midfield, but Verratti surely should not be thrown into the mix ahead of schedule, given that the second leg will be at the Parc des Princes where PSG can go at the English side with a replenished squad. He kept back to back clean sheets in the last two matches in the Premier League, which has done his confidence a world of good.

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