Paris St Germain will face Real Madrid at the first leg of the round of 16 matches of the Champions League. Here, you will find a detailed insight into the matchup.
|Date:||16th February 2022|
|Venue:||Parc des Princes (Paris Saint Germain)|
|Live Stream:||BT Sports 3, Paramount+, Fubo TV, DAZN|
The balls with the special stars on them are coming out on the ground. Footballs are inanimate objects, are they? Not these. They feel alive and stir emotion. The sight of the stars clarifies one thing- a huge week awaits. It is the Champions League, the pinnacle. They make everyone giddy. Everything about these occasions does. This is where we will hear that spine tangling anthem.
The two months break between the group stage and knockouts is quite a thing. Everyone forgets about the UCL and is immersed in the domestic league & cups and all of a sudden, it is Real vs PSG, on Tuesday, 15th February at Parc des Princes.
Two of the best teams at present in European Football will fight toe to toe. Real Madrid is the best in the history of UCL, won the prestigious trophy for the record 13 times, and will surely want to add another in their rich trophy cabinet. On the other hand, PSG wants to win its first-ever title after investing more than a billion. They have Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar at their disposal and any one of them could tear a team apart on their day.
However, these are not all. They also have Ramos, Di Maria, Verratti, Euro champion Donnarumma, Navas, and many more fighters. Parisians will hope all of them will blaze with full guns. Under the stewardship of three-time UCL-winning coach Carlo Ancelotti, Madrid is very impressive and will back itself ahead of this high-octane fixture. With the likes of high-flying Benzama, Vinicius, Casemiro, the old guards Modric, Kross and one of the best goalkeepers in Courtois Real have every ammunition to nail down any obstacle. From one sense, both teams are on even footing at this moment.
Strength and weakness:
Real Madrid is currently at the top of the league standings but has experienced a discernible slump in recent weeks. Los Blancos have outrageous attacking talent in their ranks. Benzama and Vinicius lead the goal-scoring chart in La Liga and their midfielders could also score. Benzama has already scored 5 goals for his club in UCL and is the highest scorer in this season. Courtois in the goal and in front of him are Militao, experienced Alaba, Nacho and Mendy make Real’s backline almost impossible to penetrate nevertheless, the Belgian shot-stopper has never celebrated victory against the French side despite facing six times in the Champions League with both Chelsea and Real Madrid.
PSG has an excellent squad but has largely flattered to deceive under Pochettino this season though the likes of Lionel Messi and Kilyan Mbappe have stepped up in this competition and will look to make their mark this week. Messi has scored 5 and Mbappe has scored 4 goals in this season’s group round. The most positive thing for Paris might be the presence of Messi at their camp. He has vast experience of locking horns with Los Blancos while playing for Barcelona. He faced them on 45 occasions across competitions, contributing 26 goals and 14 assists.
An exciting trio of Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar is yet to gel together properly. They have a defense with the proper mixture of experience and potentiality notwithstanding, sometimes they are found overwhelmed and without any clue. Pochettino must decide who to choose in the bar before the match as both of his options is world-class. Keylor Navas has won UCL with Madrid a couple of times and has valuable experience, on the other hand, Gigi Donnarumma has just won EURO with Italy. Veratti lead midfield is a place where PSG might want to depend without any fear.
Real Madrid could be without their star man Karim Benzema who has missed the last three games through injury. Ferland Mendy and Mariano Diaz could also miss out due to physical problems.
Neymar is out injured for many days however, he is back in full training with the squad. It is highly likely that he could make the squad though he surely wouldn’t start along with Messi and Mbappe. He might play some minutes as a substitute. Danilo will return to action too, but former Real Madrid Captain Sergio Ramos is expected to miss out through injury while Ander Herrera is also doubtful due to a knock.
PSG: Donnarumma, Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Mendes, Verratti, Parades, Wijnaldum, Messi, Mbappe, Di Maria.
Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Nacho, Alaba, Modric, Kross, Casemiro, Asensio, Bale, Vinicious jr.