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Champions League may be Real Madrid’s only hope of winning any silverware this season and Los Blancos will kick-off their knockout stage of the Champions League campaign this midweek as they host PSG.
The French giants have been termed as the favourites by a majority of fans, largely due to their stunning summer arrivals as well as Madrid’s woeful domestic form.
However, that being said, the domestic form should be taken out of the window in these kinds of matches, and it will definitely offer us with some extra excitement as to who’s gonna prevail in what is one of the most highly anticipated games of 2018.
Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane will be without the services of young defender Jesus Vallejo, who is suffering from a Hamstring problem while key defender Daniel Carvajal will miss out due to suspension. Dani Ceballos also misses out, due to a sprained ankle.
Zinedine Zidane is expected to revert back to his preferred 4-3-3 formation, after executing a 4-4-2 against Real Sociedad last weekend. The cunning attacking trio of ‘BBC’ could start while Casemiro is also expected to make his return to the starting lineup.
Keylor Navas will be the man between the sticks for Los Blancos in this all-important clash. The Costa Rican keeper will play a vital role as Real Madrid look to keep a clean sheet against the dangerous attacking lineup of PSG.
Nacho Fernandez will once again deputise at right-back as Dani Carvajal is out suspended. The Spaniard will be tasked with the responsibility of stopping Neymar on the far side.
Sergio Ramos’ experience in dealing with world-class forwards might come in handy for Real Madrid, who are even tagged as underdogs by a majority of fans, prior to this huge encounter in the midweek.
The Frenchman should partner Sergio Ramos in central defence. His ability to unsettle the opposing defence with his signature long balls will be one of the ways Madrid can try to discomfort their opponents this week.
Marcelo is easily one of the most important Real Madrid players going into this game. The Brazilian has the quality as well as the experience to prevail against top-notch attackers that PSG have in long supply.
After being rested for the weekend’s massive win over Real Sociedad, Casemiro is expected to be deployed as the holding midfielder in Zidane’s customary 4-3-3 formation. He’ll act as the sweeper in the midfield, clearing most of the loose balls that fall into his territory (one of the main features of his game and arguably the most important one).
Modric’s ball carrying ability will be an important asset for Real Madrid against such a highly rated opponent. The Croatian midfielder would act as the transition midfielder, who can bridge the gap between the defensive and offensive lines.
While Luka Modric tries to build the game up in the final third, Toni Kroos’ long range of passing will allow Real Madrid to be prepared for any kind of situation, with or without the ball.
After being rested for the weekend game against Real Sociedad, Gareth Bale will be raring to perform against PSG this midweek. The Welshman’s sheer pace and ability to drift past defenders at will could prove to be an ideal catalyst for Real Madrid in the final third.
French striker Karim Benzema should lead the attack for Los Merengues against PSG. The former Lyon striker has received a lot of criticism, after scoring just two goals in the league this season but will be looking to silence those critics by scoring against the French giants.
Someone who needs absolutely no introduction, Cristiano Ronaldo, despite his poor start in the league this term, will be one of the players in this game. The Portuguese superstar has already netted 9 goals in just 6 Champions League games, and so stopping the former United winger will be important for PSG.