V

Santiago Bernabéu

14/02/2018 | 7:45 pm

Paris Saint-Germain

V

Santiago Bernabéu

14/02/2018 | 7:45 pm

In a sentence: Real Madrid host Paris Saint Germain in the glamour tie of the Champions League last 16, with the Spanish giants looking to defend their European title.

Last time: Real Madrid beat PSG 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu during the group stages of the Champions League in 2015-16.

This time: Real have been far from their best this season, currently in fourth place in La Liga, but they are known to raise their game in Europe.

You might remember: Current PSG star Angel Di Maria won the Champions League with Real Madrid back in 2014, before moving to Manchester United.

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Betting Tips & Predictions

Neymar is PSG’s star man and also scored against Real Madrid in his days at Barcelona

Real Madrid’s struggles have been well documented this season, with Barcelona seemingly walking away with the Spanish league title, and Madrid left to battle for a top four spot. This under performance from the team has led to question marks over Zidane’s future as manager, as well as the longevity of key man Cristiano Ronaldo at the club.

Despite their struggles domestically, they have been very good in Europe, losing just once to Tottenham in the group stages and their record in the business end of the Champions League is impressive. Real have won three of the last four Champions League titles outright, and they have not failed to at least make the semi finals since 2010.
PSG on the other hand are very much the new kids on the block in Europe, and manager Unai Emery needs to find a way to transfer their domestic dominance into Europe.

Led by the goals of summer signings Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, PSG look to have already secured the French league title, but their big test still lies in Europe, where they have not progressed past the quarter finals in the modern format of the Champions League.

This is a test of experience v form, and the instinct is to go for Real’s greater experience in this competition – with a home win priced at 6/4.

However Neymar and PSG will be in the mood to prove a point against Zidane’s side, and if they can continue their recent run of form and catch Madrid out it would be a real coup for them – with an away victory priced at 14/5.

Given the attacking talent that is on display from both sides goals are a virtual guarantee in this game, particularly with PSG’s defence unproven at this level and an over 2.5 goals bet is priced at 2/5.

Match Summary

1

Look out for:

Given the amount of pace available in both camps, there could be a very fast start to this game, particularly in terms of goals. Real Madrid have scored seven goals inside the first half in their last three games, with PSG scoring three in three first halves. For the game to be 1-1 at half time is 11/1.

2

We fancy:

Cristiano Ronaldo has so often been the hero for Madrid in big games, scoring in the 2017 final and netting the winning penalty in the 2016 final as Madrid triumphed. He may not be in the best form this season, by his own incredible standards if goal scoring, but he has scored 12 goals in Europe in 2017-18. He relishes these big occasions, and the Portuguese international is 4/1 to score first against PSG.

3

It’s a long shot, but:

The last time these two faced each other, Real Madrid’s goal scoring hero came in the unlikely form of defender Nacho Fernandez. He has been used primarily as a squad player this season, as cover for Raphael Varane, but he has scored in the Champions League this season and scored twice in Real’s recent 7-1 win over Deportivo. He is 14/1 to score anytime for Madrid on Wednesday night.

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Written by Feargal Brennan

Feargal Brennan is a long-suffering Everton fan who turned to European football for respite from the Toffees’ struggles. A frequent radio contributor, Feargal writes on football and betting and is an expert in how to cope when you support a forever frustrating football team.