Paris Saint-Germain are at Parc des Princes for Tuesday night’s Champions League encounter versus Real Madrid.
Unai Emery’s side succumbed to a 3-1 defeat to Los Blancos in the first-leg of the round of 16, and they face a difficult task of overturning the tie, considering Neymar has been sidelined following a foot surgery.
Paris Saint-Germain have been in exceptional form in the French Ligue 1 this season, and they accumulated their 24th win of the campaign versus Troyes last weekend. As a result, they hold a 14-point lead over holders AS Monaco at the top of the standings.
On the contrary, Real Madrid have endured an indifferent campaign in the Spanish La Liga, and their title challenge was pretty much summed before the turn of the year. Los Blancos are presently third on the table with a massive 15-point deficit to Barcelona, who are favourites to reclaim the Spanish crown.
Players to watch for:
Edinson Cavani – Paris Saint-Germain: With Neymar sidelined for an extended period, the focus is likely to lie on Cavani to produce the goods up front. The Uruguay international has notched four goals in his previous three appearances for Les Parisiens (whoscored) and he was offered the weekend off in order to keep him in good shape. Nonetheless, he needs to finally make an impact versus Real Madrid, with three winless (one draw and two defeats) and goalless games played out. Cavani was hauled off just after the hour-mark in the Bernabeu defeat.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid: The Portugal international had a difficult period in La Liga during the first-half of the season, but this had no impact on his Champions League form, where he notched a record nine goals during the group stage. Since the turn of the year, the 33-year-old has scored 14 times in the space of just 10 appearances, and this has involved six man of the match accolades (whoscored). With Neymar injured in the opposition ranks, he is undoubtedly the player to watch from both sides, and he could make the defining impact to finish off the tie. Ronaldo bagged a brace during the first-leg of the encounter.
Without the presence of Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain face a difficult task of overcoming Real Madrid. Should they score even, we are fancying Los Blancos to find a breakthrough of their own which may finish off the tie.
Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Real Madrid