PSG v Real Madrid, UCL Round of 16 Match Preview

On Tuesday night, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid will face off in the Champions League, with both teams aiming for a first-leg edge in their last-16 encounter.

The hosts finished second in Group A to qualify for the first knockout round, whereas Real Madrid, the 13-time champion, took first place in Group D and advanced to the round of 16.

●   Paris Saint-Germain 

Mauricio Pochettino’s side will enter Tuesday’s match on the back of a 1-0 win over Rennes in Ligue 1 on Friday, which put them 16 points clear at the top of the table, allowing them to focus on their Champions League challenge, with the first leg of their last-16 tie taking place on Tuesday night ahead of the return match on March 9 at the Bernabeu.

PSG, who were beaten by Real Madrid at this point of the 2017-18 campaign, lost in the semi-finals of the 2018-19 competition to Man City, and they also reached the final in 2019-20. 

The French giants are anxious to win the European Cup, which has been their goal since becoming a European superpower, and it will be fascinating to observe how they approach the first leg, as Real Madrid will have a minor edge due to the fact that the reverse match will be played at Bernabeu. 

●   Real Madrid 

Ferland Mendy has been declared fit after recovering from an injury, but Karim Benzema’s fitness is still a question mark for the Spanish team, and he is questionable to start the match. The 34-year-old Frenchman has missed the Whites’ last two La Liga matches owing to a hamstring injury, but he will travel to Paris.

Ancelotti’s first-choice midfield three will consist of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Casemiro, with Marco Asensio maybe winning a slot closer to the attack. On the right flank, Rodrygo, Eden Hazard, and Gareth Bale are all possible options, but Vinicius is a certain conclusion to open the game.

Keylor Navas, Achraf Hakimi, Angel Di Maria, and Sergio Ramos, all former Madristas, will now try to lead PSG to a famous victory over Real Madrid. They also have a superstar line-up in Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar.

Real Madrid, on the other side, has won the Super Copa for the second year in a row. Since accomplishing a hat trick of European Cups in 2018, they haven’t made it to the final.

Real Madrid has effectively owned the Champions League trophy in recent years, having won it in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Los Blancos, however, have won only two of their five knockout round matches since overcoming Liverpool in Kyiv, losing to Chelsea in the semi-finals last season.

Despite a shock home loss to FC Sheriff, Carlo Ancelotti’s team won Group D, with home and away victories over Italian champions Inter.

On the domestic front, Real Madrid leads La Liga by four points above Sevilla, despite drawing 0-0 with Villarreal on Saturday.

Since 2015, these two have faced six times, with Real Madrid winning three times and PSG winning once in a 3-0 home group game in 2019. 

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