Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Prediction: Paris Saint-Germain vs Real Madrid

Verdict: Cristiano Ronaldo to score Anytime

Best Odds: 23/18

Bookmaker: 888sport

French runaway league leaders PSG have managed to bounce back from the 3-1 beating at the hands of Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 but now face a daring home challenge in the return fixture without their biggest star, Neymar.

PSG

Three consecutive league wins and a Coupe de France victory did enough to lift the spirits at Paris Saint-Germain following a disappointing performance at Santiago Bernabeu.

The French heavyweights were caught off guard by the reigning champions earlier in February and will have to put in their best display this season if they are to eliminate Real Madrid from the Champions League. PSG new owners have funneled mind-blowing amounts of cash to build a team capable of mounting the European challenge but their investment is turning sour following a disappointing 3-1 loss in the first leg. Adrien Rabiot was the first one to openly talk about domestic dominance counting for nothing if PSG can’t reproduce the same level of performances in Europe and Emery’s men now have a big point to prove, following four consecutive winds that lifted the spirits following the Santiago Bernabeu disappointment.

Team News

Neymar picked up an injury in his team’s 3-0 win over Marseille and will miss the return leg against Los Blancos. What’s more, the Brazilian’s World Cup appearance is under doubt.

Emery will also be without Marquinhos who is still some time away from full fitness. Hatem Ben Arfa does not feature in the coach’s plans. Kylian Mbappe should be fit to feature despite an ankle worry.

Real Madrid

Their La Liga title run may be as good as dead but Real Madrid still have a chance to save their season. The reigning Champions League title holders are pushing to defend their honours in an unprecedented run which seemed like a lost cause for a moment at Santiago Bernabeu last time out.

The experience and winning mentality then kicked in and Real Madrid managed to come back from behind to record an important 3-1 victory which served as a vital morale boost for Zinedine Zidane and his men. Cristiano Ronaldo was once again on top of his game in the Champions League and will be expected to put in another regal performance in France. Real Madrid’s five-match winning run was unexpectedly cut short at Espanyol towards the end of February but Los Blancos are still travelling to France on the back of a 3-1 win over Getafe. The Portuguese superstar extended his scoring run with a brace which took his total tally to 16 La Liga goals this term. Eleven more in 7 Champions League should be taken as enough of a sign, making Cristiano Ronaldo the one to watch in Paris.

Team News

Midfield duo Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are suffering from knee and muscle injuries, respectively, and are unlikely to feature against PSG.

Jesus Vallejo completes the list of absentees with his thigh injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • PSG could be without their most expensive players Neymar and Kylian Mbappe
  • French heavyweights kept a clean sheet in last three matches across all competitions
  • Cristiano Ronaldo scored 12 goals in his last 12 appearances
  • Portuguese superstar notched 11 goals in 7 Champions League matches this campaign
  • PSG have yet to lose a home match this season

Conclusion

PSG are not the same team without Neymar and the Brazilian’s absence could possibly be a big blow for the hosts. The French side are on a fantastic home run but if there’s anyone who can inflict the first blow to PSG this season than that’s Real Madrid. Los Blancos are expected to sit and wait for their chance on a counter, whereas the hosts haven’t got a luxury to wait.

Verdict: Cristiano Ronaldo to score Anytime

Best Odds: 23/18

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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