Facing a rampant Manchester United side in the Champions League was already a tough enough prospect for Paris Saint-Germain. Tuesday night's match in chilly northwest England now looks a daunting one amid an ongoing injury crisis.
PSG will be without the world's most expensive player Neymar and 192-goal, all-time club leading scorer Edinson Cavani against a revitalized United side unbeaten under its new coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Furthermore, PSG will go to United with doubts over whether key midfielder Marco Verratti should start the game, having played barely one hour on Saturday in a 1-0 win against Bordeaux after recovering from a sprained ankle. "It's very difficult to play when you've been injured like Marco," PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said. "I don't know if it's possible for him to play again at Old Trafford in three days' time. In our situation, it might be necessary." Tuchel spoke with an air of resignation after a dull encounter in which PSG extended its lead in the French league to 13 points over second-place Lille. "If your key players are not there, obviously it makes a difference. If Edinson is not in Manchester, then it is a big deal," Tuchel said. "There has been too much bad luck; these are players of great quality."
Cavani limped off with a thigh problem caused when he scored from the penalty spot in the 42nd minute, blasting the ball powerfully with his right foot. Moments later, he walked off before the halftime whistle was blown.