Down, but not out - depleted United dreams of famous comeback in Paris

It will be a huge task for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United to overcome a 2-0 deficit against a PSG side which has Kylian Mbappe in red-hot form.

A depleted Manchester United is hoping to pull off a remarkable Champions League comeback when it faces Paris Saint-Germain in its last 16, second leg on Wednesday after a 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford last month.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side will have taken heart from the way Ajax recovered a 2-1 first-leg deficit to beat defending champion Real Madrid 4-1 away on Tuesday and advanced to the last eight.

United is a three-time European Cup winner, but it has never won any tie in continental competition after losing the first leg at home. And while Real is in shambles right now, PSG appears an ominous prospect, with Kylian Mbappe in rampant form.

Thanks to injuries, Manchester United’s bench against PSG will likely be mostly comprised of youth team players.   -  Getty Images/AFP

 

The English club had also never lost a home European game by more than one goal, although last month's loss to PSG remains its only defeat in 16 matches since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.

“It's never mission impossible,” insisted the Norwegian, who was on the bench for the 1999 semi-final, second leg when United fell 2-0 down away to Juventus but came back to win the game 3-2 and go through.

“Of course it is more difficult, but we have to get the first goal and then anything can happen."

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PSG fell to Madrid at this hurdle last year, while in 2017 the French champion was humiliated by Barcelona, winning the first leg 4-0 but losing 6-1 in the return, although that was away.

- Cavani back? -

 

However, it seems improbable that Thomas Tuchel's side -- fresh from eight straight wins in all competitions -- could be eliminated here, even without Neymar.

The world's most expensive player is still recovering from a metatarsal injury and on Monday was pictured at the Rio Sambadrome enjoying carnival celebrations. He is expected in Paris for Wednesday's game, however.

Tuchel said he would make a last-minute call on the fitness of striker Edinson Cavani, who has not played since before the first leg.

- Lightning can strike more than twice -

PSG will take a last-minute decision on striker Edinson Cavani's involvement in the second leg against United.   -  AFP

Mbappe -- described as “lightning” by Solskjaer -- has been the main man for PSG recently though, scoring six times in four appearances since netting at Old Trafford.

As well as the banned Pogba, United is missing Anthony Martial, Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic and Alexis Sanchez. The latter is out for up to six weeks with a knee injury.