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Combined XI: Manchester United vs. Paris Saint-Germain

Ahead of Tuesday's Champions League showdown between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from both squads.

Manchester United host Paris Saint-Germain in a mouth-watering first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday night.

The Red Devils have roared back to form under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has overseen 10 wins and a draw from his 11 matches at the helm so far.

However, that unbeaten start will face its toughest test yet on Tuesday as the runaway Ligue 1 leaders PSG continue their bid to lift the Champions League for the first time.

Here, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI, using only players available for Tuesday's match.



Combined XI: MNU vs. PSG

Gianluigi Buffon will rightly go down as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time when he eventually hangs up his gloves, but he has been embroiled in a battle for PSG's number one spot with Alphonse Areola all season whereas David de Gea now looks to be back at his world-class best for United.

It is an all-PSG defence in front of him, though, including a spot for veteran full-back Dani Alves. The Brazilian missed a large chunk of the campaign through injury and has been playing in central midfield lately, but it is impossible to ignore his reputation as a right-back, particularly with Thomas Meunier and Antonio Valencia both injured.

Thiago Silva and Presnel Kimpembe are relatively easy choices ahead of the likes of Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly, despite United's significant improvement defensively under Solskjaer. Marquinhos was also in contention at either centre-back or central midfield, but narrowly misses out on both counts.

Luke Shaw was the closest United defender to earning a place in the team, but Juan Bernat has been a very steady presence for PSG when called upon this season and narrowly beats the United full-back to the left side of defence.

PSG have been boosted by the news that Marco Verratti is fit to play in this match, and he makes it into central midfield alongside the in-form Paul Pogba, who has re-established himself as United's main man under Solskjaer and added another two goals to his growing tally at the weekend.

Anthony Martial was also on the scoresheet on Saturday with a goal which drew comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo, although the United winger benefits from an injury to Neymar to earn his place in the side ahead of Julian Draxler on current form.

It is a similar story for Marcus Rashford, who has been in fine form for United since being made their number one striker but would usually have to play second fiddle to Edinson Cavani had it not been for the hip injury which looks set to rule the Uruguayan out of this match.

Kylian Mbappe is therefore the only member of PSG's vaunted front three to make this team, although the teenager is arguably the most important of trio from PSG's perspective having outscored both Neymar and Cavani this season.

Angel Di Maria also makes the XI in the number 10 role, and he will have a point to prove against his former club having become one of the most high-profile United flops in recent years during one unhappy and unsuccessful season at Old Trafford.

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Who will win Tuesday's Champions League first leg between Manchester United and PSG?

Man Utd
Draw
PSG
Man Utd
73.0%
Draw
10.8%
PSG
16.1%
Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring for PSG on January 19, 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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