Real Madrid faces PSG in the UEFA Champions League round of 16-second leg on Wednesday night. The visitors won 1-0 in the first leg thanks to a late wonder-goal by Kylian Mbappe. The latter took a knock-in training on Monday and is a doubt to play this match. Madrid mustered just two shots in Paris in a very negative performance. With three key starters missing, two of them in midfield, they face an uphill task to overturn the deficit.
Real Madrid Form
Madrid comes into this one having won their three matches since the first leg. A 3-0 home win against Alaves, a 1-0 win at Rayo Vallecano, and a 4-1 thrashing of Real Sociedad have the side eight points in La Liga.
Prior to that, they had some poor results. After a 2-2 home draw with Elche in the La Liga, they lost 1-0 at Athletic Bilbao in the Coppa del Rey. There was also a 0-0 draw at Villarreal prior to the 1-0 loss in Paris in the first leg. The key factor to improved form has been Karim Benzema’s return from injury – he has scored in the last three matches.
Real Madrid Team News
The big problem for Carlo Ancelotti is that Casemiro and Ferland Mendy are both out suspended for this match. Toni Kroos is also absent due to injury. Eduardo Camavinga could anchor the midfield trio in a 4-3-3 shape, with Fede Valverde also starting.
Marcelo may replace Mendy at left-back but Nacho is another option for greater defensive solidity.
Real Madrid Motivation
Los Blancos will be hugely motivated for this one. Their first leg defensive display drew criticism but they are not likely to open up too much in this second leg – for fear of being destroyed on transitions.
The Champions League has always been the top focus for Carlo Ancelotti and this match will be no different. Any win in 90 minutes will do, even if extra time is required.
After four wins in a row in Ligue 1, PSG won the first leg 1-0 against Real Madrid. They dominated that match, missing a penalty before Mbappe’s won in in injury time. Since then, the side have been completely distracted with the second leg on their minds.
The first leg was followed by a 3-1 loss at Nantes. With a full week to prepare after that, they beat Saint-Etienne 3-1 at home. This weekend, they were complacent and lost 1-0 at Nice after conceding in the 88th minute. Pochettino rested several players including Hakimi, Mbappe, Donnarumma, and Nuno Mendes.
PSG Team News
The huge news was the late knock to Kylian Mbappe in a trainer. Idrissa Gueye stood on his foot and the French flyer is now a doubt to play. He will most likely recover to start the match, though. Neymar was only a substitute in the first leg but will start this match.
Sergio Ramos and Ander Herrera are out injured and Leandro Paredes missed the weekend’s match. Gueye could therefore play in midfield alongside Marco Verratti and Danilo Perreira. Gini Wijnaldum will have a watching brief in that case.
PSG are totally focused on this match, as shown by their distracted 1-0 defeat at Nice in their last league match.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team is expected to defend deep with a back seven, leaving Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar on the halfway line to lead counters.
Madrid’s last 2 home matches vs PSG have both seen 4 goals in the match
Real Madrid have won their last 3 matches (La Liga)
Madrid have conceded in 5 of their last 6 home CL matches
PSG have lost 2 of their last 3 matches (Ligue 1)
PSG have scored in their last 7 CL matches
PSG have drawn 2 of their last 3 away CL matches (lost 1)
This should be a much more entertaining match than the first leg. PSG have more than enough to score at least once in the match, if not twice. Madrid being without Kroos and Casemiro is a major blow but they have their best attack available. The visitors are tipped to progress in a match featuring plenty of goals.
Best Bet: Over 3.5 goals at 2.35
Alternative Bet: PSG win/draw double chance + over 2.5 goals at 2.60
Correct Score Tip: Real Madrid 2-2 PSG at 10.00
Goalscorer Tip: Benzema and Messi to both score anytime at 4.31
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