Real Madrid travel to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday in a mouth-watering clash between two European heavyweights.
Los Blancos’ run of three straight Champions League titles was ended last season as they crashed out to Ajax in the round-of-16, but Zinedine Zidane’s men are unbeaten after their first four La Liga games of the season.
PSG, meanwhile, are looking to finally break their Champions League curse having lost in the Round of 16 for three consecutive seasons and failing to reach the semi-final stage since 1995. The Parisians, as expected, sit top of Ligue 1 after five games.
Read on for PSG vs Real Madrid predictions, preview, team news and TV coverage information.
When is PSG vs Real Madrid and where can I watch live?
Competition: Uefa Champions League
Venue: Parc des Princes
Date: Wednesday, 18 September 2019
Kick-off: 8:00 PM BST
TV coverage (UK): BT Sport 3, BT Sport 3 HD & BT Sport app.
Last five meetings: PSG vs Real Madrid
06/03/18: PSG 1-2 Real Madrid (Champions League, round-of-16, leg 2)
14/02/18: Real Madrid 3-1 PSG (Champions League, round-of-16, leg 1)
03/11/15: Real Madrid 1-0 PSG (Champions League, group stage)
21/10/15: PSG 0-0 Real Madrid (Champions League, group stage)
15/03/94: PSG 1-1 Real Madrid (Cup Winners Cup, quarter-finals)
Aggregate Score: PSG (LLLDD) 3 – 7 Real Madrid (LLLDD)
Ones to watch
PSG: Mauro Icardi
Neymar is currently serving a three-game ban in the Champions League, while Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani are both injured leaving PSG extremely short up front.
And so, the goalscoring burden will fall to Argentina international Mauro Icardi, who joined on loan from Inter Milan over the summer.
Icardi is hardly high on match fitness himself as his transfer activity severely hampered his pre-season, while he only managed a 27-minute cameo to mark his debut against Strasbourg at the weekend. However, the 26-year-old is a predator in front of goal – create the chances and he’ll score goals for you.
Key stat: Icardi was Inter’s top scorer in Serie A last season with 11 goals, despite starting just 24 games.
Real Madrid: Eden Hazard
After being Chelsea’s talisman for years, Eden Hazard switched to Real Madrid in the summer having won almost every honour available to him so far. Almost, as the Uefa Champions League has so far eluded him.
The Belgian moved to Chelsea the year after their Champions League triumph against Bayern Munich and his signing has been made for the sole purpose of re-establishing Los Blancos’ dominance both domestically and continentally after a horrific 2018/19 campaign.
Hazard played half-an-hour of Real’s dramatic 3-2 win over Levante at the weekend and might well be thrown into the deep by Zidane, who will want a positive result from what is one of the toughest Champions League opening fixtures you’re likely to come across.
Key stat: Hazard completed the second-highest number of dribbles (36) of any player in last season’s Europa League as helped Chelsea lift the trophy.
As mentioned, PSG will be without their entire first-choice front three on Wednesday, with Neymar suspended and Mbappe and Cavani recovering from injury, meaning Icardi should make his first start. Keylor Navas is also in line to start against his former club.
Predicted XI: Navas; Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Kimpembe, Bernat; Gueye, Verratti, Herrera; Di Maria, Icardi, Sarabia.
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Zidane will have his work cut out ahead of Wednesday’s clash with seven first-team players missing.
Brazilian full-back picked up an injury during Real’s 3-2 win over Levante at the weekend, while Isco, Marco Asensio, Federico Valverde and Luka Modric are also on the treatment table. Sergio Ramos and Nacho are both suspended.
Predicted XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Eder Militao, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, James; Bale, Benzema, Hazard.
Given just how many key players are injured for both sides, we could either see a wild, open affair with both teams unable to strike up a defensive understanding, or a quiet game thanks to a lack of attacking cohesion.
With Mbappe, Cavani, Neymar, Asensio and Isco all out, we’re going for the latter.
Scoreline prediction: PSG 1-1 Real Madrid