PSG vs Real Madrid: Home side looks to Monaco for inspiration

For Real, midfielders Luka Modric and Toni Kroos have travelled with the squad, but are uncertain to start at Parc des Princes.

Real Madrid players and coaching staff gather for a team meeting at the Parc des Princes on Monday evening.   -  AFP

The equation concerning Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), which hosts Real Madrid at Parc des Princes in the second leg of Champions League round of 16 tie, is a complicated one. Even a victory by a two-goal margin might not suffice. And, what also makes qualification difficult is the absence of leading light, Neymar, who is now recovering after undergoing an ankle surgery last week.

Real, unlike PSG, is vastly experienced in negotiating these tricky two-legged European ties. Its 3-1 first-leg win was a result of character and capitalising on the relative lack of experience on PSG's part. Real’s domestic form continues to be patchy but it’s unlikely to affect the defending champion thriving in this continental tournament.

Read: PSG faces huge task, Liverpool almost there

Sportstar takes a look at the possible line-ups for both the teams and other stats ahead of the second leg on Tuesday night.

Team news

Kylian Mbappe has emerged as a doubt for the second-leg meeting with Real, after he too suffered an ankle injury in a Coupe de France quarterfinal match against Marseille last Wednesday. He also didn’t feature in the Ligue 1 fixture against Troyes on Saturday.

For Real, midfielders Luka Modric and Toni Kroos have travelled with the squad, but are uncertain to start at Parc des Princes. Neither of them featured for the Los Blancos since the first-leg meeting between these sides. Dani Carvajal is back in contention to start after serving his suspension in the first leg.

Neither club has a player suspended.

Formation and possible line-ups

With Neymar already out and Mbappe facing a race against time, Angel di Maria and Julian Draxler are in contention to flank Edinson Cavani in what is likely to be a 4-3-3 formation once again. At left-back, Layvin Kurzawa may replace Yuri.

Possible PSG starting line-up (4-3-3): Alphonse Areola; Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Layvin Kurzawa; Lo Celso, Marco Verratti, Adrien Rabiot; Angel di Maria, Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe/Julian Draxler

For Real, Isco’s position will depend on the availability of Modric and Kroos: even if one of them misses out, Isco may slot into midfield and Gareth Bale will then take the Spaniard’s position on the flank, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema leading the line.

Possible Real Madrid starting line-up (4-4-2): Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Luka Modric/Isco, Toni Kroos/Mateo Kovacic, Gareth Bale; Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema

Stat attack

- PSG has lost just one of its last 46 European home matches (to Barcelona in the 2014-15 quarterfinal).

- PSG can take inspiration from Ligue 1 rival Monaco for overturning its two-goal deficit from the first leg. Back in 2004, Monaco lost the first leg of the quarterfinal at the Santiago Bernabeu 2-4, but won the second leg 3-1 to progress on away goals.

- The Parisian club is looking to reach its fourth Champions League quarterfinal in the last five years.

- Real Madrid is looking to reach the quarterfinals of this competition for an eighth successive season, last losing at the R-16 stage back in 2010.

- The aforementioned instance of Real losing to Monaco was the last time it lost a Champions League tie when holding a two-goal lead from the first leg.


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