Real Madrid vs Paris SG : Defending champions Real Madrid will face Paris Saint-Germain to the Bernabeu in the pick of the Champions League last-16 ties.
Real Madrid Team News, Updates, and Facts
Dani Carvajal will be suspended for Wednesday’s game, after UEFA upheld their decision to ban the Madrid player for getting deliberately booked earlier in the competition. His yellow card against APOEL ensured he missed the final group game, and was free to face PSG, but UEFA stepped in to inflict a further one-game suspension. Achraf Hakimi is likely to replace him at right-back. Dani Ceballos and Jesus Vallejo are both out injured, but Gareth Bale and Casemiro are expected to return to the starting XI after being rested at the weekend.
Cristiano Ronaldo appears to have finally found some form after a below-par start to the season – the Portuguese star scored his first hat-trick of the season in last weekend’s 5-2 win against Real Sociedad. He has now scored 23 times this season, while no other Real player has reached double figures.
Real Madrid’s inconsistent season has continued into the new year, with Saturday’s win at home to Real Sociedad only their fifth in ten games in all competitions since the 3-0 loss to Barcelona just before Christmas. It followed a 2-2 draw with Levante and 4-1 thrashing of Valencia, which in turn had followed the shock 2-1 Copa del Rey defeat to Leganes.
Real Madrid Predicted Starting Line-up
Expected Line-up: 4-3-3
Real Madrid likely XI
- Defenders:Hakimi, Varance, Ramos, Marcelo
- Midfielders:Casemiro, Kroos, Modric
- Forwards:Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo
Paris SG Team News, Updates, and Facts
Thiago Motta is fit again but, short of match fitness, is unlikely to be risked given the form of Giovani Lo Celso in central midfield. Unai Emery’s biggest selection headaches appear to be at left back – where Layvin Kurzawa and Yuri Berchiche are competing for the left-back spot – and up front, where Angel di Maria could be preferred against his former team ahead of Kylian Mbappe.
Real Madrid’s Marcelo insists Neymar will eventually join the Spanish team, despite his time at Barcelona, but for now the Brazilian – who scored his 28th goal of the season against Toulouse at the weekend – is PSG’s star man. Edinson Cavani also has 28 for the season, but half as many assists as Neymar – eight for Cavani, 16 for Neymar. Their free-scoring attacking triumvirate will be completed by either Kylian Mbappe (15 goals, 14 assists) or Angel di Maria (13 goals, 15 assists).
PSG have won all six matches since Lyon became only the third team to beat them this season last month. Cup wins against Guingamp, Rennes and Sochaux have been inter-twined with three league wins, and three clean sheets, as PSG have beaten Montpellier 4-0, Lille 3-0 and Toulouse 1-0. Neymar has scored in each of those league wins.
Paris Saint-Germain Predicted Starting Line-up
Expected Line-up: 4-3-3
Paris SG likely XI
- Defenders:Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Kurzawa
- Midfielders:Veratti, Rabiot, Lo Celso
- Forwards:Di Maria, Cavani, Neymar
Real Madrid vs Paris SG Head-to-Head Stats
Real Madrid and PSG last met in the Champions League in the group stages in 2015/16 – the two games representing their first matches against each other since UEFA Cup and UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup games in the early 1990s. The game in Paris, last time out, ended 0-0 before Nacho scored the winner in the return fixture at the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid vs Paris SG Betting Tips
Real Madrid’s home advantage makes them slight favourites for Wednesday’s game but this is a game which could go either way.
While Madrid have been in dominant form at home in the Champions League, the defending champions’ aura has faded this season after a string of poor results both in Europe and domestically.
Missing out on top spot has handed them one of the toughest draws they could have got for this last-16 tie, and it may be that both sides err on the side of caution with so much at stake.
PSG, at the very least, will hope to banish memories of their last Champions League knock-out match in Spain, when Barcelona’s incredible 6-1 win overturned a 5-1 first-leg deficit.
The French team have scored goals for fun in the group stages, however, and – though defeat at Bayern Munich in their final group game showed cracks still exist in their line-up – they will be hopeful of more goals on Wednesday.
Expect plenty of goals, and not much between the two teams – this game could definitely go either way.
Real Madrid vs Paris Saint-Germain Prediction
Expect goals at both ends, but with Real Madrid so difficult to beat at home do not expect either side to come away with much in terms of the tie as a whole. This one will go right down to the second leg, and a draw at the Bernabeu will set that match up nicely.