When: Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Where: Parc des Princes, Paris, France
PSG and Real Madrid open the UCL knockout stage with a clash in Paris. This is the absolute derby of this round, and we believe that the whole football community is going to closely monitor Tuesday night’s battle. Both sides are favorites for the title, but the draw wanted them to meet already in the Round of 16. The Parisians have home-court advantage in the first leg, though, that doesn’t have to mean too much in this situation.
PSG vs. Real Madrid Preview
We can’t say that the Saints play good football. Yes, PSG records winings, but on the other side, all of them were after tough battles during which they didn’t perform as expected. The only clash in recent times when we saw Pochettino’s unit smashing the rivals was in Lille. Back then, PSG rolled over the current French champions, 1-5, leaving a strong impression.
In the previous five games, this team had four wins and one loss, with four events ending with only one side netting. Messi and the boys kept three clean sheets, but the rivals weren’t some big-time names of European football.
Meanwhile, the offense has occasional bursts. They score four goals, then fail to show up, only to explode in the very next event where they pack five hits in the rival’s net.
It appears that Los Blancos slowed down over the last month or so. Only two wins in five events is a solid reason for setting the alarm off at Santiago Bernabeu. Among other results, we’ve seen their elimination from the Spanish Cup, losing to Athletic Bilbao on the road, 1-0.
Karim Benzema didn’t play and that was a massive handicap for Real, who doesn’t have the proper replacement for the French international. All other strikers either don’t have the quality or simply don’t find themselves comfortable in his position. The latest news suggests that the 34-year old will play in Paris, but his shape is questionable.
So it’s no wonder why Real plays tight and inefficient games. The most recent three were under 1.5 goals, with only one side netting. Los Blancos visited Villarreal this Saturday, getting away with only one point following a goalless draw.
PSG vs. Real Madrid Possible Lineups
PSG: Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Mendes; Danilo, Paredes, Verratti; Messi, Mbappe, Di Maria
Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Nacho, Alaba; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius
PSG vs. Real Madrid Head to Head
The last time these two sides met was in the 2019 UCL edition. They were in the same group, with the French side having more success over two events. The first in Paris ended convincingly in their favor, 3-0, while the second clash, at Bernabeu, saw a 2-2 draw.
PSG vs. Real Madrid Prediction
PSG isn’t confident, and neither is Real, which is why we expect a defensive-minded and very cautious approach from both managers. Despite having superb individuals at disposal, be sure that Pochettino won’t pressure the guests, who will wait the chance to strike from the counter-attack. That’s why we predict a low-scoring affair, and under 2.5 goals here.
Our Verdict: Under 2.5 goals