There’ll be no easing back into the Champions League this year with the headline clash taking centre-stage on the return of the knockout stages. It’s safe to say PSG are now desperate to bring this trophy to Paris for the first time, though they’ve certainly been dealt a tough hand up against La Liga leaders Real Madrid.
After a strong start to the season where the Parisians picked up nine wins form their opening 11 matches, they’ve since struggled for consistency and haven’t managed to string together more than three successive victories since the end of September.
With that said, they still remain undefeated over 90 minutes since a 2-1 defeat to Man City in this competition back in November, a run now stretching 14 matches, although it did include a penalty shootout defeat to Nice in the Coupe de France at the end of January.
The currently hold a 13-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 as they look to regain the title they lost to Lille last year, and with that gap looking nearly insurmountable at the moment, they can through almost all their attention into this competition.
Real Madrid looked to be running away with the title in early December, though a slight falter in form has led some of the chasers back into the mix, with Sevilla just four points behind them now.
Indeed, a run of 10 successive wins in all competitions has since been followed by a run of W5-D5-L2 over 90 minutes, which certainly casts a shadow of doubt over their chances here in Paris.
PSG To Win
This will be the seventh meeting between these two sides in the last seven years, with Los Blancos leading the head-to-head record W3-D2-L1 in that time.
However, the first four of those meetings came back when the Spaniards had Cristiano Ronaldo, and the two meetings since his departure saw PSG nab a draw at the Santiago Bernabeau and run out convincing 3-0 winners here in 2019, so the hosts will certainly take confidence from those more recent outings.
PSG aren’t impenetrable at home, though are unbeaten in nearly 10 months at the Parc de Princes over 90 minutes since defeat to Man City here in last seasons’ Champions League, while Madrid’s current away form sees them with just two wins from their last seven (over 90 minutes) across all competitions, and for that reason we have to give the edge to the hosts on this occasion.
Neither side are firing on all cylinders at the moment, but when there’s this level of quality on the field, confidence for either won’t be an issue.
The big difference between the clubs is their relative success and experience at this level, with Zinedine Zidane a three-time winner of this competition as manager, while Pochettino has managed just the one final with Spurs.
As mentioned, though, Ronaldo was the difference maker for Madrid during those three successive triumphs, and you’d have to argue that PSG have more star quality in their current squad than their Spanish opponents.
PSG TO WIN