SportsBibleOct 19, 2020 9:18 PM
The Champions League is back and so is the match previews and predictions of Michael Owen. For this round the former Manchester United man has previewed the mouth-watering clash between last season’s finalists and Manchester United, he also did the same for the game involving Chelsea and Sevilla and he’s of the opinion that one English team will win while the other will lose.
For the group stage Chelsea was drawn in group E with Sevilla, Rennes and Krasnodar while Manchester United, PSG, Leipzig and Istanbul Basaksehir make up group H. The teams that finish first and second will qualify for the round of 16 while the third placed team falls to the Europa League. Although two teams qualify, the priority for each team is to finish top of the group as it increases their chances of landing a favourable draw for the Champions League round of 16.
The two mouth-watering fixtures will be played on Tuesday, 20 October and both kicks off by 8:00 pm Nigerian time. The match between PSG and Manchester United will take place at Parc des Princes while that of Chelsea and Sevilla is at Stamford Bridge.
Paris Saint-Germain vs Manchester United
PSG will be looking to get their hands on the Champions League trophy after they came so close to lifting it in the last campaign. The Parisians spear headed by a front three of Neymar, Mbappe and Di Maria made it all the way to the final before losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich to the disappointment of their fans.
This season however, there has been some changes to that team as not all the players who started in the final against Bayern will be starting this Champions League campaign with PSG. The front three remains unchanged but the Parisians have lost their team captain, Thiago Silva, after the Brazilian decided to join Chelsea following the expiration of his contract with the French club.
PSG conceded very few Champions League goals with Thiago Silva in the side in the last campaign, how the absence of his presence and leadership affects the team defensively remains to be seen.
Following the Champions League final, upto six first team players for PSG got infected with the highly infectious coronavirus and this affected the team’s form. This season the Parisians lost two games at first but have since recovered to win five straight matches which makes them mentally ready to face United.
Speaking of United, their form have been terrible except for their last league game where they comfortably despatched Newcastle 4-1. The Premier League side failed to use the transfer window to build on the momentum gained at the tail end of last season and that brought negative talks around the club which consequently affected the morale of the players.
However the club eventually made some moves on the final day of the transfer market which saw them land Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani and just like in Thiago Silva’s case, the later was a former PSG striker who left after his contract was allowed to expire.
Edinson Cavani in his first training session with Manchester United
Cavani missed United’s last match against Newcastle due to a mandatory 2 weeks coronavirus quarantine period for anyone that wants to enter England. But that period is now over and the Uruguay striker has since started training and could make his debut for the Red Devils against his former club.
The last time these two teams clashed at the Parc des Princes, United beat PSG 3-1 and by doing so overturned a 2-0 deficit from the first leg to qualify for the next round. That was Ole’s second Champions League game in charge of United and he will be hoping for a repeat of that on Tuesday.
Chelsea vs Sevilla
Against all odds Chelsea made it to this Champions League group stage after they were given a year transfer ban and losing their best player Eden Hazard. But now they are here, it is expected the Blues will make it to the knock-out rounds after being fortunate to get what many think is a kind draw for the group stage.
The draw may be kind for Chelsea but their opponent for this game is tough. Sevilla are the reigning Europa League champions and they beat Manchester United and Inter Milan on their way to winning the trophy. So it’s wrong for anyone to think this game will be a walk in the park for Chelsea especially when one considers how inconsistent the Blues have been this season.
The Blues made a lot of signings in the just concluded transfer window but injuries and lack of fitness has meant that all the new signings are yet to play a single match together despite the season being more than a month old.
Speaking of the new signings, Thiago Silva should be involved in this game after he was rested in Chelsea’s last game which ended in a 3-3 draw against Southampton. Thiago Silva played for Brazil away to Peru and was subsequently rested, so he is fit and could make his Champions League debut for Chelsea in this game.
Michael Owen’s prediction
Michael Owen is of the opinion that his former club will not be able to cope with PSG’s front three of Neymar, Mbappe and Di Maria while he thinks Chelsea will just edge it against Sevilla.
Giving his prediction for the clash at Parc des Princes, Michael Owen said: “Manchester United flattered to deceive with their 4-1 win at Newcastle on Saturday night. However, they face a much tougher test in Paris. With the likes of Neymar and Mbappe, I think they may have too much for United. I reckon last years finalists will come out on top with both sides scoring.” His prediction is 2-1 in favour of PSG.
While for the clash at Stamford Bridge he said: “Chelsea come into this one having surrendered a 2 goal lead to draw 3-3 with Southampton. This was the second time the Blues have drawn 3-3 this season and I’m expecting goals to be on the menu again here. Sevilla lost out to Granada at the weekend, so it’s fair to say both need a result. Timo Werner finally found the net on Saturday, and if he’s in the mood again, I could see Chelsea edging it.” His prediction is 2-1 in favour of Chelsea.
The former United striker only said his opinion but only the what happens in the field of play will determine who wins.
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