The blockbuster round of 16 first leg match between Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain on Wednesday evening certainly has all the ingredients to be an instant classic. Ahead of Valentine’s day clash at the Bernabeu, we have decided to look at the teams heading into the match. As ever you can watch all the action exclusively via beIN CONNECT.
By their lofty standards, Real Madrid in the midst of a crisis. Despite thumping Real Sociedad 5-2 at the weekend, all is not well at the Santiago Bernabau.
Los Blancos have all but handed the La Liga title to arch-rivals Barcelona who has a 17 point lead over them. Whilst bowling out of the Copa Del Rey to lowly Leganes at the quarter-final stage further ramped up the pressure on the side. Now the Champions League represents the only hope for Zidane of winning a trophy. Thankfully Real have been masterful in Europe's top club competition over the last two seasons, going all the way to win back to back titles for the first time since the tournament was renamed in 1992.
Zidane will be without Dani Carvajal for the tie through suspension whilst youngsters Jesús Vallejo & Dani Ceballos are set to miss out with injuries.
Madrid captain Sergio Ramos will have to be at his very best as he goes up against a PSG frontline that scored a record 25 goals in the group stage. The battle between Ramos and PSG frontman Edison Cavanni could be crucial in deciding the fate of the tie, and the Spanish international will have to put in a captain’s performance to give his side a fighting chance heading into the decisive second leg.
As for PSG, they are leading the way in France and have a commanding 12 point lead at the top of the table. The Parisians are currently on a six-game winning streak in all competitions and head into the tie in Madrid off the back of a 1-0 away victory against Toulouse.
The Parisians sent a message to the whole of Europe in the summer with the World Record signing of Neymar and the loan deal to bring teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe to the Parc des Princes. Now it is time for the marquee signings to justify their price tags in the Champions League, and fire Les Rouge-et-Bleu to their first Champions League crown.
In team news, PSG has a clean bill of health heading into the match at the Bernabeu and barring any last minute injuries should be fielding their strongest possible side.
Neymar has been in sparkling form since his world record move to Paris scoring 28 goals in 27 games in all competitions. In a match that is likely to be so tight, Unai Emery will be hoping that the mercurial Brazilian can come up with a moment of magic to give his side the edge heading into the second leg in Paris.
It certainly promises to be a match to savour when the defending Champions League winners Real Madrid welcome PSG to the Bernabeu. You can watch the action live and exclusive on beIN CONNECT.