Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Prediction: PSG vs Real Madrid

Verdict: Over three goals 

Best Odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: Bet365

Two sides who will open their Champions League campaign with a number of their most iconic stars sat on the sidelines, Real Madrid will make the trip to the French capital on Wednesday night.

PSG

Starting with Wednesday’s hosts, while PSG may have marched towards yet another French Ligue 1 title without much competition from the chasing pack, their exit from last year’s tournament left many in the capital questioning Thomas Tuchel position. With Manchester United coming from behind in the round of 16 in the most dramatic of fashion, fans around Parc des Princes are calling for drastic improvements this time around. Returning from the international break and clinching a hard-fought 1-0 win over Strasbourg last weekend, the former Borussia Dortmund boss has seen his side struggle to fill the void left by a number of his attacking stars unable to feature. The trio of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Edinson Cavani have all been ruled out of Wednesday’s Group A opener. If Les Parisiens are to claim their first European title since 1996, then Tuchel will also be more than aware that his side must improve on their inconsistencies on home soil, particularly while on Champions League duty. Including a 2-1 defeat against Madrid back in March 2018, PSG have won just two of their last five European matches in the French capital.

Team News

Wednesday’s hosts have been hit with a string of injury issues and will miss the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani, Thilo Kehrer and midfielder Julian Draxler. It appears that summer signing Mauro Icardi could make his full debut.

Real Madrid

As for the visitors, also crashing out of the round of 16 last year at the hands of Ajax, Real Madrid find themselves in an almost identical situation to Wednesday’s hosts. Enduring a lackluster campaign both domestically and in Europe, the pressure is also starting to mount on returning boss, Zinedine Zidane. Despite returning from the international break and picking up a hard-fought 3-2 win over Levante on Saturday, the Whites have recorded just a pair of La Liga victories in their opening four contests and are still struggling with some glaring defensive issues. Failing to record a single clean sheet in any of their last eight competitive matchups, they have also conceded four goals in their last two appearances. Although Zidane will be unable to call upon a string of his most experienced stars in midweek, the former champions do hold a very eye-catching record against Wednesday’s hosts. Including picking up a 2-1 win at the Parc des Princes back in March 2018, the Whites have won each of their last three meetings against the Ligue 1 winners.

Team News

Much like Wednesday’s hosts, the former European champions have also been hit with a string of injury issues. Madrid will be without Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Isco, Marco Asensio, Federico Valverde Luka Modric, and Nacho for their trip to Paris in midweek.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Real Madrid have won their last three meetings against PSG.
  • Madrid have failed to record a clean sheet in any of their last eight competitive matches.
  • Karim Benzema has four goals in his opening four La Liga matches.
  • Former Stoke forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is averaging a goal every 76 minutes.
  • 11 of PSG’s last 12 Champions League matches have seen both teams find the net.

Conclusion

While both sides might head into Wednesday’s contest without a string of big-name stars, Group A’s opening contest should produce plenty of chances at both ends. With both PSG and Real Madrid struggling with a string of defensive issues and a history of producing lively encounters, particularly in the French capital, we’re backing another high-scoring outcome in midweek.

Verdict: Over three goals 

Best Odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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