Real Madrid will look to overturn a first-leg deficit and book a place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League when they host PSG on Wednesday.
Real Madrid will welcome Paris Saint-Germain to the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 fixture, well aware that a huge challenge lies ahead of them.
Also, Real Madrid put in one of their worst performances of the season in the first leg at Parc des Princes and had to be thankful to Thibaut Courtois for making sure that the tie ended in just a 1-0 defeat. Since then, though, Carlo Ancelotti’s men have found some semblance of form, racking up three wins in a row in La Liga, most recently defeating Real Sociedad 4-1 over the weekend.
Team News & Tactics
The big news for Real Madrid is that Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde are back in the squad after missing the weekend La Liga crash with injuries. However, they will have to cope without the services of key men Casemiro and Ferland Mendy, both of whom are suspended for the tie.
Carlo Ancelotti will have some major calls to make in the midfield department, given that Casemiro is absent and Kroos might not be 100% fit. Despite that, the Italian tactician is likely to go in with the seasoned midfielder for this titanic clash. The German international should have Luka Modric and the hard-working Valverde for support. Eduardo Camavinga, who was impressed at the weekend, will likely miss out.
The other possibility could be to shift Alaba out on the left and field Nacho alongside Militao. Marcelo is unlikely to start as PSG could exploit his lack of defensive nous.
Up top, Karim Benzema is a certain starter in the No. 9 role for Real Madrid. Having had a stinker in Paris in the first leg, he will be looking to redeem himself on Wednesday night.
PSG will again be without former Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, although he will be traveling with the squad to the Spanish capital. Les Parisiens were given a major scare when star man Kylian Mbappe picked up an injury in training on Monday. However, the 23-year-old has recovered and is set to be available.
Leandro Paredes is also back in contention after missing the weekend Ligue 1 game against Nice. Ander Herrera remains sidelined, while Juan Bernat has not been registered for the knockout stages of the competition. Mauricio Pochettino will also set his team up in a 4-3-3 formation like Real Madrid and look to get an early goal or two to take the sting out of the contest.
Marco Verratti, who put in a masterclass in the reverse fixture, will be another pivotal figure for the French capital club. His ability to impact proceedings in both halves of the pitch will be crucial.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Mendes, Gueye, Pereira, Verratti; Messi, Mbappe, Neymar
- Real Madrid have been eliminated from nine of their last ten knockout ties in the UEA Champions League when losing the first leg.
- PSG have been eliminated from three of their eight UEFA Champions League knockout ties when winning the first leg.
- Real Madrid have only lost one of the previous five games when hosting PSG in European competitions, winning the other four.
- PSG have won just one of their last eight Champions League away games against Spanish opposition (D2 L5).
- Real Madrid star Karim Benzema has scored 12 goals in his previous 11 Champions League home matches.