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Paul Pogba explains why Manchester United are lucky ahead of PSG showdown


Paul Pogba believes Manchester United are lucky that they won’t have to deal with Neymar during their Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain.

The Brazilian forward is sidelined with a foot injury that will keep him out of action until April.

It is Neymar‘s second serious foot injury in as many years and at his 27th birthday party earlier this month he wished for a new metatarsal in a tear-filled speech.

PSG still carry plenty of attacking threat without Neymar, with Julian Draxler, Angel Di Maria and the French prodigy Kylian Mbappe all expected to start at Old Trafford.

And while Pogba recognises the threat Mbappe will pose to his United teammates at Old Trafford, he knows the Reds’ chances of progressing to the last eight have been boosted by Neymar‘s absence.

“What’s so special [about Kylian] is that he’s maybe 20 and plays like he’s 27 – and 27 is when you have a lot of experience,” Pogba said of France teammate Mbappe.

Man Utd vs PSG build-up

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“He understands the game and that is the difference between him and the other young, top talented players. He’s just a machine. You think about Thierry Henry, Ronaldo – he’s this kind of player, who can score goals, is very fast, can dribble, can make assists. He’s a player that it’s hard to block.”

On Neymar, Pogba added: “I would say we are lucky that Neymar is not there – it’s unlucky for him, but lucky for us because he’s a player that can change the game by himself as well. Those kinds of players, you don’t really know where or how to block them, because they can create so much space, they can dribble [past] two players, they can score goals. They are all dangerous, so you don’t think about only one player, because it’s always a team. But obviously their attack is the key. So hopefully we’re gonna block them.”

Pogba will lock horns with plenty of old friends when United take on PSG but there will be no room for niceties when the first whistle is blown.

“Coming from Paris, and playing against your ‘home’ or your first town, it’s my first time, so it’s going to be beautiful! I’m going to have my family around, all my friends. But I hope we win,” Pogba told United Review .

“There are a lot of French players, and they have top players who have been winning the league for I don’t know how many years. They’re looking to win the Champions League – that’s their goal. The goalkeepers, Alphonse Areola, Gigi [Buffon] – I played with both of them, and Kylian [Mbappe] and [Presnel] Kimpembe. So I’m looking forward to playing against them, but the first thing is to win against them! That’s what I want.”



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