In what is easily the most awaited fixture of the new year in the Champions League, French giants PSG travel to Real Madrid this week, in the first leg of the Round of 16 tie between the two European superpowers.
The Spanish outfit, who are now looking for their third consecutive Champions League title, have been a shadow of themselves recently, and are 17 points off Barcelona at the top of the La Liga points table. They also qualified in the second place in their group, losing to Tottenham Hotspur and for once, will not be favourties going to a European tie.
The lack of Real Madrid’s form is a huge reason for it, but a bigger one is the form of PSG. Unai Emery’s men lost to Bayer Munich in the group stage but finished their group at the top of the table. They are running away with the Ligue 1 title and are one of the most impressive teams in Europe at the moment.
They have an exciting squad, albeit with a couple of weakness, that can beat any team on its day and they will look to get things done in the first leg, picking up some away advantage. But Real Madrid have some match winners, who usually stand up to big occasions like these and will not make it easy for PSG, by any means.
There are a number of in-game clashes that will be exciting to watch and this is a game a football can just not afford to miss. Here is the team news, predicted lineups, predictions and betting odds for this game:
Zidane does not have to many injury issues to worry about ahead of this game. Dani Carvajal is the only player who is sure to miss this game after he picked up a suspension in the final group stage game. Young Jesus Vallejo is still absent but Dani Ceballos is nearing a return and may even make the bench this week.
Expected lineup (4-3-3):
Navas; Nacho, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Ronaldo, Bale, Benzema
Unai Emery, on the other hand, has a few absentees ahead of this crunch clash. While the biggest loss will be star striker Edinson Cavani, who is nursing a hip injury, PSG will also be without the likes of Thiago Motta, Hatem Ben Arfa and Lavyin Kurzawa, who are all but ruled out for this game.
Expected lineup (4-3-3):
Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Meunier; Diarra, Verratti, Rabiot; Di Maria, Neymar, Mbappe
Real Madrid – 7/5
Draw – 13/5
PSG – 7/4
Real Madrid 2-1 PSG
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