Paris Saint-Germain will hope to keep hold of their first-leg advantage when they travel to the Spanish capital to take on Real Madrid in the Champions League Round-of-16 on Wednesday night. With only a Kylian Mbappe goal separating the two sides, the tie is still pretty much alive.
Paris Saint-Germain fans know they can’t be complacent about their team’s first-leg lead. 2017,2018, 2019; in each of these three seasons, PSG won their Round-of-16 first-leg match by a minimum of two goals. But, on none of those occasions, they managed to make it to the quarterfinals. So, there’s no reason to stay content from a PSG perspective with a one-goal lead over the most successful team in European history.
Kylian MBappe put on a stellar preview of what Real Madrid could get next summer should the French superstar move to Santiago Bernabeu this summer. The 23-year-old terrorized the Madrid defence throughout and nicked a last-gasp winner at Parc des Princes that dealt a severe blow to Los Blancos’ European ambitions.
So, the Real Madrid faithful will not be thrilled to see MBappe at Bernabeu, even though he might be donning the white shirt next season. Lionel Messi, who has tormented the hosts many times at the Bernabeu during his Barcelona days, will not be expecting a warm welcome either.
However, the Parisians have struggled for consistency under Mauricio Pochettino. The Parisians have lost two of the three Ligue 1 matches they played following their remarkable 1-0 win over Real Madrid. Both defeats came on the road, which will dent the Ligue 1 outfit’s confidence before their trip to Santiago Bernabeu.
There will be no emotional comeback for Sergio Ramos to his old stamping ground. The ex-Real Madrid captain will not recover in time from a calf problem to face his former team. Kylian MBappe’s availability is not guaranteed after Idrissa Gueye stomped on his foot during training. But reports coming out of the PSG camp indicates he will be fit to start.
Pochettino might also get back Layvin Kurzawa and Achraf Hakimi in defence. Ander Herrera and Leandro Paredes are still doubts.
Real Madrid have 13 Champions League titles to their name, a feat unmatched by any other team in the continent. But, they did not make it past the Round-of-16 twice on the last three occasions. In the last 10 knockout ties in which they lost the first leg, the La Liga leaders only managed to overcome the deficit once.
But, Madrid will take on PSG on the back of a 13-match unbeaten run at Bernabeu. After the shocking loss to Sheriff Tiraspol in September, no other team travelled to Santiago Bernabeu and claimed the bragging rights.
Real Madrid have registered three successive in La Liga and have cemented their position at the top of the La Liga table. Now, they will turn their focus towards a PSG side that have been far less impressive in recent weeks.
Ancelotti will not be able to call Ferland Mendy and Casemiro, who will serve a one-match suspension for their yellow-card pile. Tonii Kroos’s absence because of a hamstring injury will severely deplete Madrid’s midfield options.
Recent form tips the balance of the tie towards Madrid. But the suspension of Casemiro and Mendy could make them more vulnerable defensively. PSG have lost both of their away matches, and they will be eager to buck the trend in Madrid. A draw seems to be the likeliest outcome of this clash.
Draw @ 3.85.