Real MadridChampions LeagueVS
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This is certainly one of the standout ties of the Champions League Round of 16, as two European heavyweights clash on Tuesday night.
PSG are favourites with the bookies for this first leg at the Parc de Princes at odds of 23/20. They’ve been pretty dominant at home so far this campaign, but it’ll be interesting to see how they cope with Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid side.
The La Liga leaders won five of their six games in the group stages. They haven’t quite been at their best during the last few weeks, but Los Blancos have generally been an entertaining watch this term.
It seems strange to label a team that includes players such as Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe as vulnerable, but as a collective unit, PSG still don’t quite look the finished product.
They’re undoubtedly dangerous, given their incredible individual attacking talents, but they won’t find it easy against a well-drilled Real side.
Ancelotti will potentially have his men set up a tad more cautiously, given the circumstances, but it isn’t in the Spanish side’s nature to soak pressure up.
They have plenty of verve going forward themselves so it could be quite a close game overall. Madrid have the firepower and organisation to take a lead back to the Santiago Bernabeu, but given PSG’s strong home form, we like Real Madrid-Draw on the Double Chance market as the selection. That’s available at very appealing odds of 17/20 with Sportnation.
PSG’s path through the group stages was a bit of a mixed bag. They won three of their six matches, drawing two, and losing the other.
Their standout success was at home to Manchester City, which included a marquee Lionel Messi strike, but City dominated large periods of that game. Mauricio Pochettino’s team were arguably slightly lucky to walk away with all three points, and they’ll face a similar level of opponent in this contest.
In their last game (at the time of writing), they smashed five past Lille, putting in a dominant performance against last term’s Ligue 1 champions. They were knocked out of the Coupe de France on penalties by Nice prior to that, though, and their performance level this season has had some consistency issues.
PSG are likely to be without several key players for this clash, as stars such as Neymar and Sergio Ramos remain on the sidelines.
Real Madrid have been a fairly dominant force domestically this season, and they sit at the top of La Liga with a healthy six-point gap to second.
Los Blancos didn’t have too much issue negotiating their way through the group stages either, winning five of their six matches - including beating a strong Inter Milan side home and away. In a mighty upset, they did lose 2-1 at the Bernabeu to Moldovan club FC Sheriff, but they were pretty faultless otherwise.
Prior to facing Villarreal in La Liga action, Madrid have just one 90-minute win in four games. Not the ideal form to have heading into such a big fixture, but it’s only a minor blip when you look at the overall picture of their campaign so far.
Whether top scorer Karim Benzema will be fit in time for this clash is yet to be seen. He could certainly be a difference maker - the Frenchman has 24 goals and 9 assists in 28 appearances this term.
There’s been just seven competitive matches between the two in their history, with PSG winning two and Real Madrid being victorious on three occasions.
Their last meeting came in the 2019 Champions League group stages. A Karim Benzema brace was cancelled out by two late PSG strikes from Mbappe and Pablo Sarabia.
All of the last five clashes have seen three goals or more.
The Parc de Princes was built in 1967. It wasn’t until 1974, though, that Paris Saint Germain became full-time residents there.
It holds a capacity of 47,929, but there are plans from the club to increase that number to around 60,000 in the coming years.
A mouth-watering Champions League tie, with plenty of superstar talent on show. A free-flowing, entertaining game can certainly be expected.
It’s not easy to split the two on paper, but Real Madrid’s superiority when it comes to playing well as a unit could see them edge this one against a PSG team who can sometimes lack a bit of rhythm.