The PSG project was designed to become a European power not lord of Ligue 1. If PSG are unable to comeback against Real Madrid on Tuesday, then it will be curtains for their manager, Unai Emery, at the end of the season.
But before the commencement of hostilities in Paris on Tuesday, UEFA have instructed that a minute’s silence is observed in memory of the sudden passing of Fiorentina’s captain, Davide Astori.
With a 3-1 deficit and without the influential Neymar, perennial French champions must throw the proverbial kitchen sink to dethrone the European champions. Since that 3-1 defeat, PSG have played four matches and scored 13 goals whilst conceding two while Real Madrid have scored 15 goals in five matches, losing 1-0 to Espanyol in that sequence.
Despite the three goals conceded in Madrid on February 14, PSG conceded less than Zinedine Zidane’s side in this season’s Champions League and have also scored more though Neymar accounted for six of those goals. He, however, failed to score against Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in back-to-back 3-1 away defeats after recording goals in five consecutive UCL matches.
With the enforced absence of their talisman, Zidane believes another player [maybe former Los Blancos, Angel Di Maria] can replace Neymar for the French champions.
“Neymar’s absence makes no difference to us. In his place, there’ll be another player who wants to show what he can do. It may change something in the game, but not in terms of our preparation.”
Head to head
14/02/18 UCL Real Madrid 3 – 1 PSG
28/07/16 ICC Real Madrid 1 – 3 PSG
03/11/15 UCL Real Madrid 1 – 0 PSG
21/10/15 UCL PSG 0 – 0 Real Madrid
02/01/14 CLF PSG 0 – 1 Real Madrid
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While Neymar’s Brazilian teammate, Dani Alves, said the PSG team must be confident because they were better than Real in the first leg. “We think we can go through because of the first leg.
“We were superior to them in our play and the chances we created. We have to do that for the full 90 minutes this time. It’s a huge motivation to be able to knock out the holders.”
Kylian Mbappe, Marquinhos, and Javier Pastore returned to training on Monday while Real would have to do without Toni Kroos, who is a serious doubt though Marcelo and Luka Modric are expected to be able to start in Paris on Tuesday.
Words before the War
“We have to play with our heads as well as our hearts, but if I had to choose I’d say it’s more important to play with heart. If we play the way we can, that’s what will decide the game. I hope for the best possible performance from Madrid with their best players because I want us to be better than them.” – Unai Emery, PSG manager
“Tomorrow will be tough for one of these teams, but that’s football. What I want is a good football game. We know we’ll suffer and it’ll be tough, so I want us to be able to suffer and play well.” – Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid manager