Forwards Neymar and Cavani, who have scored 41 goals between them this season, are sidelined with foot and hip muscle injuries, respectively, while Meunier was rested for the Old Trafford trip after suffering a concussion.
“Any team that is missing players like Neymar, Cavani, Meunier will miss them, but it gives other players a chance,” Solskjaer told reporters before his first European game as United’s caretaker manager.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggested Manchester United are preparing for their biggest Champions League night in five years against Paris Saint-Germain. United have failed to qualify for the Champions League in two of the five seasons since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 and have not won a knockout game in the competition since the 3-0 comeback against Olympiakos in the last 16 in 2014.
Solskjaer was in Lyon last weekend with assistant manager Mike Phelan to watch PSG in action in Ligue 1 but the Norwegian manager said he could not judge Thomas Tuchel’s side based on their league form alone.
“It makes it more unpredictable for us, who they will play. When you see that front three (of Neymar, Cavani and Kylian Mbappe), you know how they will play so we are guessing a bit.”
PSG are 10 points ahead in Ligue 1 with two games in hand and have won five of the last six league titles.
“It is difficult to compare games because when they play in the league, they know they are going to win it anyway,” Solskjaer said ahead of the first leg of their last-16 meeting. So they approach it differently to the Champions League. You try to do due diligence.”
Solskjaer recalled his last Champions League appearance for United was in the memorable 7-1 shellacking of Roma in the 2007 quarter-finals. Solskjaer created Wayne Rooney’s away goal in the first leg that was overshadowed by Italian riot police lashing out at United supporters in the Stadio Olimpico away end.
Despite the defeat, Ferguson told the United players they would defeat Roma in the return leg, which he hailed as his ‘greatest night in Europe at Old Trafford’ in Europe at the time. “Yeah, it has been,” Solskjaer accepted.
“Maybe if you look back, I look back at one of the last few exciting knockout games, we lost to Real Madrid, Nani was sent off, we had Bayern Munich a few years ago [in 2014], so we’re looking forward to this. SHARE THIS STORY USING ANY OF THE BUTTON BELOW ⬇ PLACE YOUR TEXT ADVERT BELOW ⬇⬇⬇