Real Madrid clinched unprecedented back to back Champions League trophies last season as they continued their utter dominance of Europe, but this season there are cracks starting to show in their star-studded squad as the host Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Valentine's Day at Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid’s domestic form may be less than impressive, but their unbeaten Champions League record at the Bernabeu stretches as far back as March 2015 as Los Blancos finished runners-up in Group H, behind Tottenham Hotspur but above Borussia Dortmund.
PSG, meanwhile, cruised into the knockout stage after finishing above Bayern Munich, Celtic and Anderlecht in Group B.Team News
Los Blancos right-back Dani Carvajal is suspended for the first leg, meaning Nacho will likely start at right-back and Dani Ceballos is set to miss out with a sprained ankle, while Jesus Vallejo has a thigh injury.
Les Parisiens have a number of injury doubts could see former Real Madrid duo Lassana Diarra and Angel Di Maria handed starts against their former employers.
Thiago Motta is back in training but remains a doubt for Wednesday and a hip injury could see striker Edinson Cavani miss out, while Lavyin
Kurzawa, Hatem Ben Arfa are
also likely to miss out for the visitors.Head to Head
been six meetings between the two sides and the teams share 2 wins and 2 draws.
PSG are unbeaten at home during the period with a win and 2 draws from 3 games.
It will be worth to note that PSG and Real met in the double legged knockout phase of a UEFA competition two times and the French club eliminated the Spaniards on goal aggregate on each occasion.Recent Form
Real Madrid has won four, draw one and lost one from their last six games, while PSG have
won all the six matches from the same number encounter.
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane quoted on the official website
“We just want out fans to be proud of us. We're going to give our all and the fans will be behind us, just as they always are, even when the going gets tough. Tomorrow is another competition to focus on and we'll give absolutely everything”.
“I’m happy to be involved in such games. I don’t think there is any real pressure at the moment. We have prepared just as we always do and it’s true that pressure will always be there in the background. That’s normal, I’m going to enjoy this”.
PSG coach Unai Emery "Right now, Real Madrid are the best team in the world, in terms of the number of trophies they've won and the fact that they have the best players," Emery told reportes.
"Cristiano Ronaldo is an example. In the biggest games, the best players turn up. "They have those kinds of players and we do too."Prediction:
Real Madrid 2-2 Paris Saint-Germain
Potential Real Madrid starting XI: Navas; Varane, Nacho, Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Modric, Casemiro; Bale, Ronaldo, Benzema.
Potential PSG starting XI: Areola; Yuri, Silva, Marquinhos, Alves; Verratti, Rabiot, Di Maria; Neymar, Mbappe, Cavani.