The startling stats that should have PSG worried

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Popular narrative would have us believe Real Madrid is a football power on the wane, lurching from one shock defeat to the next on its crisis-strewn path to inevitable demolition at the swashbuckling hands of free-wheeling PSG this week - the cashed-up Parisians finally walking the walk in the hallowed company of football's established European order, led by the very player Madrid covets the most, Neymar.

Recent form tells a strikingly different story. 

In Madrid's last four LaLiga matches, nine different goal-scorers have found the net 18 times, for the best attacking return in any of Europe's top leagues. 

While we are peppered with stories about Karem Benzema's form slump, the other members of 'BBC' have amassed nine of those 18. Cristiano Ronaldo has fired home seven at considerably more than a goal-a-game, and the much-maligned Gareth Bale has chipped in two. 

Madrid's 4.5 goals-per-game over the last month in LaLiga is the best attacking return of any of the teams in the UEFA Champions League last 16  and should be cause for some concern at PSG,  which has scored nine goals for and conceded two 'against' in the same period. Madrid's purple patch includes a 7-1 destruction of Deportivo La Coruna and a 4-1 win over title contender Valencia. 

By contrast, PSG lost to its toughest opponent during its last four Ligue 1 matches - a 2-1 reverse to Lyon. 

Madrid's +12 goals differential in that period puts it equal with rejuvenated Italian champion Juventus and above the likes of Manchester City (+9), Bayern Munich (+8), PSG (+7) and Barcelona (+6). 

A humiliating Copa Del Rey elimination to Leganes and some patchy home form have conspired to throw Madrid into a reported crisis but caveats apply. The Copa Del Rey team was shorn of nine players who will start against PSG, including walk-ups Toni Kroos, Ronaldo, Bale, Luca Modric, Casemiro and Marcelo. Manager Zinedine Zidane is nursing bale and Benzema back to something resembling consistent form and midfield maestro Isco is yet to recapture his career-best play of last season. 

Madrid's recent 2-2 draw with lowly Levante sparked the weekly round of crisis speculation. But of the last four games Zidane's team has played, it's the other three that should be causing the most concern for PSG. The 7-1 win over Depor, the 4-1 win over Valencia and the 5-2 win over Real Sociedad are signs the sleeping giant is awakening as its component parts start to approach top gear. It would be a foolish opponent to write Madrid off, especially on a stage it has made its own in the past two seasons.