In the words of Alan Hansen, ‘You can’t win anything with kids.’
While the Scottish pundit was proved o’ so wrong back in 1999, Man United’s squad to face PSG makes that treble winning squad look like seasoned vets.
But with the medics at Carrington working overtime, it wasn’t like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had a choice when naming his squad.
The Norweigan has been the saviour to Man United’s season with his only taste of defeat coming in the first leg against the French champions.
PSG gave United something of a reality check two weeks ago, beating the rejuvenated Red Devils with relative ease.
Solskjaer’s midfield tonight is looking very lightweight; Andreas Pereira, Fred and Scott McTominay all start.
The Old Trafford side knew that the trip to Paris was bound to be an uphill struggle after the home leg.
Anthony Martial picked up an injury while Paul Pogba’s red card towards the end of the game meant he would miss the second leg.
Since that first leg, the hill has become a mountain.
The anti-climatic 0-0 against bitter rivals Liverpool last weekend saw Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard all hobble off in the first half.
Throw in an injured Alexis Sanchez and it’s a miracle the Reds can even field a team.
The number of youngsters in the travelling squad highlighted just how few options the United boss was left with.
The good news for Man United is the man who is so often their saviour, David de Gea, is fit and well.
In front of him is a near-enough full strength defensive unit. Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Ashley Young, Victor Lindelof, Diogo Dalot and Eric Bailly all travelled.
After that, things start to look a bit more desperate.
In midfield, the familiar names of Fred, Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay are all fit. None of the three have started consistently but at least two will be set the unenviable task of slowing down PSG.
Marcus Rashford, who has been fighting a knock over the last fortnight, travelled alongside Romelu Lukaku.
So there are still some players with big-game experience, but the United bench will look like the mascot’s, not the substitutes.
The remainder of the squad – bar the goalkeepers – are all academy graduates, Brandon Williams (18), Angel Gomes (18), James Garner (17), Mason Greenwood (17) and Tahith Chong (19).
Between them they have five first team appearances, less than the amount of times Danny Drinkwater has played for Chelsea.
PSG have only reached one Champions League semi-final which, considering the money that’s been put in the club, is well below par.
They are also the side which produced quite possibly the biggest bottle-job in European footballing history two years ago, throwing a 4-0 first leg lead to Barcelona. Surely the French side will do everything to avoid a similar embarrassment against United?
The Parisians will again be without two of the three main men in Edison Cavani and Neymar.
PSG didn’t struggle without the pair at Old Trafford, with Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe taking the attacking responsibility.
With so little hope and expectation, Man United can go and play with a bit of freedom, with even the biggest United fan not expecting them to progress.
A mindset which could play into the Premier League side’s hands.
Should the miracle happen, it would bring back memories of United’s 1999 accomplishment, with one of the kids that year now very much the teacher of the new class.
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