After nearly a decade of heartbreaking Champions League failures, Paris Saint-Germain fans must grit their teeth when they play in the most prestigious international tournament. PSG have been one of the favorites to win the competition per the soccer betting odds in every season from 2012-13 to this year, but they have never even made it past the quarterfinals. Their recent history of being given difficult draws continues to as PSG are in the same group as Real Madrid. Real Madrid knocked PSG out of the 2017-18 Champions League, and Los Blancos are out to win their 14th Champions League title.
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- Paris Saint-Germain vs. Real Madrid
- Date and Time: September 18, 2019, 3 p.m. ET
- Location: Parc des Princes, Paris, France
- US Television Coverage: TNT
- Betting Line: Paris Saint-Germain PK and -0.5, O/U 3
Defending continues to be a major problem for Real Madrid. The team couldn’t defend well under either Julen Lopetegui or Santi Solari last season, leading to both managers being sacked, and club legend Zinedine Zidane has been unable to find the right formula either. Real Madrid have allowed a goal in each of their La Liga games this season, leading to a 2-2-0 record for the club.
Their offense has been given a spark from the addition of Luka Jovic and Eden Hazard, but injuries have kept this roster from performing at peak capacity as of yet.
PSG continue to largely run roughshod over their French foes. Although they were stunned by Rennes in the second week of the Champions League season, they have won their other four matches to nil and come into this match atop the Ligue 1 table. Neymar provided some last-minute heroics in his return on Saturday too, ensuring the Parisian giants stayed on top. He scored on a lovely back flick in stoppage time to give PSG a 1-0 win over Strasbourg.
Both of these teams will be without some of their most talented players on Wednesday. Real Madrid won’t have Sergio Ramos and Nacho available due to suspensions carrying over from last year’s Champions League. Marco Asensio suffered torn knee ligaments in the preseason and is a long-term injury, and Luka Modric is extremely doubtful to play with a groin injury. Isco and Luka Jovic are questionable to suit up.
The hosts won’t have their two superstars as Neymar is suspended for the first three games of this Champions League campaign after criticizing officials last year, and Kylian Mbappe will miss the match due to injury. Edinson Cavani is questionable, while Julian Draxler and Thilo Kehrer are unavailable to play too.
Paris Saint-Germain Player to Watch
Inter Milan loanee Mauro Icardi will need to have a big game for PSG with so many other talented offensive weapons either sidelined or hampered. Icardi is very talented, but he clashed with the brass at Inter over a new contract and the situation deteriorated so badly that Inter benched him for most of the second half of last year. He made his debut as a sub against Strasbourg last week, and PSG will look for him to provide a spark.
Real Madrid Player to Watch
Gareth Bale has had an excellent campaign through four games for Real Madrid. Bale was constantly in Zinedine Zidane’s doghouse a few years ago, but the Welsh forward netted a brace to save a draw against Villarreal in La Liga action. He has fresh legs due to a La Liga suspension, and those will be needed with Modric likely out and Eden Hazard only now returning from injury.
Much of this match’s luster has been lost due to the injuries, so the draw is the best option on the board to me. The under is a sharp play too with so many offensive weapons unavailable.
Champions League Prediction: Paris Saint-Germain 1, Real Madrid 1
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