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Man Utd stand-in captain Bruno Fernandes gives verdict on three stars ahead of PSG tie

Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes has heaped praise on three Red Devils players ahead of tonight’s Champions League clash against Paris Saint-Germain. Fernandes will captain the side at the Parc des Princes.

Fernandes will take the armband tonight due to Harry Maguire being left back in Manchester for the trip to France.

The centre-back is struggling with a slight muscle injury, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to leave him out of the squad for the Champions League opener.

Fernandes has experience in a captain’s role, having led Sporting Lisbon during his time in Portugal.

United are going to France as the underdogs, but the midfielder believes the Red Devils have the talent to cause PSG problems.

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Speaking ahead of the game, Fernandes talked up the talents of Juan Mata, Donny van de Beek and Marcus Rashford as three players who can be utilised tonight.

Speaking about Mata specifically, he explained that the Spanish veteran’s quick-thinking makes him one of his favourite players to play alongside.

Mata, Rashford and Fernandes combined for United’s second goal in Saturday’s 4-1 win away at Newcastle in a fluid counter-attacking move.

And Fernandes explained that they have been working hard in training and now know fully how each other plays.

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He said: “I think it’s natural. Of course at the training ground you train all the time with them and you know each other and you know what is better for them and how they like to play.

“You say one name with whom I enjoy playing a lot and that is Juan. I think he is one of the smartest players, he knows what I want and how I want to play and he thinks really quickly.

“Sometimes the point is not being quick but thinking quickly and I think Juan is one of those kinds of players and I love playing with him.”

Fernandes set up Rashford’s late goal at St James’ Park with a delightful ball over the top of the Newcastle defence, allowing the speedy forward to get in behind and slot home.

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The midfielder explained that the young Englishman’s ability to combine his first touch and technical decision making with his pace has made him a frightening player.

“Of course, having Rashy in front is great,” Fernandes added. “The players we have playing in our attack are unbelievable. They are quick, they have qualities and they can score.

“As you saw in the last game it was a good pass from me but some players not as quick as Rashy might have had the defender take them, but Rashy did very well and his first touch was amazing to control the ball towards the goal.”

Van de Beek has found game time hard to come by since his £40.5million move from Ajax this summer, and is yet to start in the Premier League – coming off the bench four times.

He could find himself involved tonight, however, and Fernandes believes he has a big future ahead of him at Old Trafford.

Fernandes explained that the midfielder’s ability to play possession-based football has made him a valuable team-mate in the middle of the park, and predicted he will grow into a more established role under Solskjaer.

He continued: “Also Donny, he’s come from Ajax. I had a coach before from Sporting [Marcel Kaiser], he was Donny’s coach too at Ajax and I know how they want to play and how they like to play – they like that little one-two, that connection and that, if we can say, ‘tiki-taka’ football and Donny is one of those guys from the beautiful Ajax football. They teach that growing up and they give a lot of good players to the world.

“I hope Donny can do a lot of things for us and I’m sure he will do.

“Of course though every player has to take time to get settled in the club and I think he is doing well, but he can do much better for us and he also wants to do much better.”

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