PSG vs Real Madrid
Date: Wednesday, 18 September 2019
Kick-off at 20:00 UK/ 21:00 CET
Venue: Parc des Princes (Paris).
Real Madrid visit Paris Saint-Germain’s Parc des Princes in what will be their first game of the 2019-2020 edition of the UEFA Champions League.
It’s an explosive match between two of the best clubs in European football, but the fans will definitely miss Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani, Ramos, Modric or Marcelo, who will all miss the game.
Real Madrid predicted XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Varane, Militao, Mendy, Casemiro, Kroos, James, Bale, Hazard, Benzema.
PSG predicted XI: Navas, Meunier, Kimpembe, Silva, Bernat, Marquinhos, Gueye, Verratti, Sarabia, Di Maria, Icardi.
Even without those players mentioned above, both sides have tremendous quality. Zinedine Zidane will most likely deploy the Bale, Hazard and Benzema attacking trio for the first time this season. Those three attackers will be expected to start most games and lead the team’s offensive line this year.
It will also be interesting to see what Mendy and Militao can do. Real Madrid have been defending poorly for quite some time and those two players might be able to offer something different.
All in all, this game has all the ingredients to be a very exciting one, not only for the fans of both teams but also to every football fan around the globe.
At one point this summer, Neymar looked certain to leave Paris for the probable destination of Barcelona – and the disruption that caused, together with injury problems, meant his injury time winner against Strasbourg came at the end of his first game of the season.
The Brazil striker returned for his country with recent appearances against Colombia and Peru, but was booed by his club’s fans at the Parc des Princes before proving their salvation with his last-gasp overhead kick to seal the three points.
He had been included to fill a void in attack left by Kylian Mbappe’s thigh tear and Edinson Cavani’s hip problem, with both strikers expected to be unavailable until late September at the earliest.
Neymar cannot continue his scoring exploits against Madrid, having picked up a three-match ban for questioning the integrity of the referee in the aftermath of that loss to Manchester United in PSG’s last Champions League game.
To the joy of his fans on social media, Mbappe disclosed news of an early return to training last week, but the lightning-heeled 20-year-old will not be ready to test the Madrid defence.
Centre-back Thilo Kehrer and midfielder Julian Draxler are doubts after sitting out the drama against Strasbourg with foot injuries.
Real Madrid were back in training on Sunday, although Eden Hazard – a debutant the previous evening – is not in the running to play against PSG, according to Zidane.
The Madrid coach says he will not be returning to France with his most high-profile of the summer in tow, as Hazard has not reached full fitness following a spell on the sidelines.
Midfielder Isco, who has been out with a thigh injury, also trained, but will not be ready for Wednesday as he continues the final phase of his recovery.
Left-back Marcelo is Zidane’s latest injury victim, having been ruled out of the match with a spinal injury announced by the club on Monday.
Playmaker Luka Modric and midfielder Federico Valverde will not be ready for PSG, and winger Marco Asensio has a long-term knee injury that will keep him out until next year.
Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Navas; Meunier, Silva, Diallo, Kurzawa; Verratti, Gueye, Di Maria, Icardi, Sarabia; Choupo-Moting
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Eder Militao, Mendy; Casemiro, Rodriguez, Kroos; Vazquez, Junior; Benzema
Head To Head
Real Madrid have a slight edge in the previous meetings between these sides, recording four wins to PSG’s three.
Most recently, the Spaniards won 2-1 in Paris to cap a 5-2 aggregate victory in the round of 16 in 2018, when Cristiano Ronaldo scored the opener and Cavani scored late to give PSG a glimmer of hope in the tie, swiftly extinguished by a Casemiro goal 10 minutes from time.
Madrid had come from behind to win 3-1 in the first leg, including two Ronaldo goals.
They met twice in the group stage in 2015, sharing a goalless draw in Paris before Nacho’s first-half winner gave the hosts three points in Madrid the following month.