Paris Saint-Germain are plagued with uncertainty. Meanwhile, a Frenchman is under pressure in the Spanish capital. Two European giants lock horns as we welcome European football back into our schedules.
European Giants Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid Go Head to Head
Time for Paris to Shine?
PSG surely have all eyes on the ‘big ears’ this year. Despite the Neymar transfer saga, the Parisiens had a very good transfer window. Bulking up the midfield with Ander Herrera, Idrissa Gueye and Pablo Sarabia, the French champions now have a squad capable of challenging for the top honour in Europe. PSG possess one of the most formidable frontlines in the world and they’ve added Mauro Icardi to the mix as well.
The club predictably sits atop the Ligue 1 table whilst winning all but one match. The latest victory came against Strasbourg as the much-maligned Neymar scored an outrageous overhead kick in the dying minutes of the game. The reception he might receive will be something to look forward to, as he stays at the club despite publicly wanting out. The Parisiens do have injury issues to cater to, with Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Julian Draxler all on the sidelines. Thomas Tuchel will need all his tactical nous to manufacture a win on Wednesday. Facing a heavyweight in the group stages is never a bad thing and PSG will look to beat the 13-time winners on their way to achieving a dream Champions League title.
Will the Real Real Madrid Please Stand Up?
Real Madrid are in limbo. Zinedine Zidane’s men have been hot and cold all season. Despite that, they sit second in the table, one point behind city rivals Atletico and one point ahead of Barcelona. Real look to be at their best for certain phases of their matches. This was witnessed in their wins against Celta Vigo and Levante and their draw against Real Valladolid. However, even in those games, the Madrid side looked desperate to hold onto comfortable leads.
Their midfield is clearly shorthanded as Zidane was forced to play Lucas Vasquez in midfield for the final 20 minutes of the Levante game. Luka Modric and Fede Valverde are both out with injuries. Isco is also a doubt as he only recently joined the first team for training. That leaves the side with the same midfielders that played against Levante- Toni Kroos, Casemiro and James Rodriguez. Adding to that, Sergio Ramos will continue serving his European suspension. However, Real welcomed Eden Hazard at the weekend and he will most likely start whilst Gareth Bale will also be available after serving his domestic suspension at the weekend. Both wingers will look to support the in-form Karim Benzema up front. Real Madrid will be looking to put on their first consistent display over 90 minutes.
With both teams plagued with injuries and suspensions, a very unpredictable game lies in store. The Parc des Princes might give PSG a slight edge but Real were victorious on their last visit to Paris. A scored draw would be the safest bet- with Benzema and Neymar most likely to score. It’s time to sit back and enjoy European football again.