Juan Mata previews Man Utd vs Paris Saint-Germain
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has been giving his assessment of the upcoming Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain.
The Red Devils host the French giants in the first leg at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening.
Mata, who started last weekend’s Premier League win at Fulham but is likely to be back on the bench for tomorrow’s game, predicted a tough tie. He played down the significance of injuries to Neymar and Edinson Cavani, warning that PSG will pose problems whoever they pick from their all-star squad.
The Spaniard said he and his team-mates will be doing everything they can to ensure they progress to the quarter-finals. He called on United’s fans to help the cause by generating an impressive atmosphere tomorrow night.
Writing his weekly blog post, Mata said: “The knock-out tie that we have ahead of us against PSG is exciting, even though it’ll be tough, and we will do everything that we can to go through.
“It is clear that the team is in good form; the squad is united and every player is going to do their bit to try and maintain our run of positive results from recent weeks. We can feel how happy the fans are, too, and that makes us even stronger.
“Away from our form, we are thinking about our next game, focusing on preparing well and giving our all; the past doesn’t count for much in football. As I’ve said, our next fixture is particularly important: welcoming PSG to Old Trafford. We need the atmosphere to be as impressive as it has been during all of the big European nights that the Theatre of Dreams has seen before.
“After winning back-to-back games on the road, we are really looking forward to playing at home again. Although it seems that PSG will be visiting us without some of their most important players, they have a fantastic squad and whoever plays will pose us problems.
“Without any doubt, they are a top side with a lot of quality in their ranks. Hopefully it will be a great knock-out tie for the fans and we will go through.”
United have not progressed beyond the last-16 of the Champions League since 2013/14 – David Moyes’ season in charge – when they were eliminated by Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals.
Prior to that, they hadn’t made it past the last-16 since reaching the final in 2010/11.