It isn’t often that Manchester City winning a game is in any way helpful for Manchester United, but Wednesday’s Champions League tie against PSG could be exactly that.
The French giants travel to the Etihad Stadium for a crunch Champions League group stage game, with City intent on exacting revenge for their meeting earlier this season where PSG earned a 2-0 win at the Parc des Princes.
But while a win for City obviously is ideal for them, it could also be ideal for their city rivals United in their managerial hunt.
Manchester United finally sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday following a 4-1 defeat to Watford, making it four defeats in six Premier League games.
A statement by the club revealed that Michael Carrick would take charge of upcoming fixtures while they looked for an interim coach until the end of the season, sparking confusion among fans and media about why they would take that approach.
Since then though, it has become apparent that Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino is their number one target to take over in the summer, making it a bit more obvious.
What they perhaps didn’t envisage though, is that the former Tottenham boss is keen to take over immediately and is willing to leave Paris mid-season to take the job of his dreams.
While he is at PSG, a club he played for and captained during his career, he will give 100 percent, but their Champions League position could look quite bleak if they are defeated on Wednesday night.
The Champions League group currently stands with Man City sitting at the top on nine points, with PSG just behind them on eight. Club Brugge have earned four points so far while RB Leipzig have capitulated and already been eliminated, earning just one point so far.
If City win the game they will guarantee that they finish top of the group, while a win for Brugge agains the already eliminated Leipzig means PSG would be forced to go into the final game-week before trying to claim qualification.
That final game will see them host Brugge in Paris, with a draw all that’s needed to secure progression to the next round. But the pressure will be on Pochettino for it even getting that far with the squad he has assembled, and speculation linking him to the United job is only likely to increase the longer it goes on.
PSG aren’t usually ones to act impulsively when it comes to the managerial situation, but with Champions League qualification on the line it’s possible they could opt for stability and to let Pochettino go ahead of that game if he were to fail against City.
That would make it much easier for United to get their man and for Pochettino to get his move, while PSG are expected to move for Zinedine Zidane should the Argentine leave the club mid-season.
For that reason, and that reason only, United fans might be quietly cheering for a City win for a couple of hours on Wednesday night. But don’t tell anyone.