3 Individual battles that will decide PSG vs. Real Madrid on Tuesday

Real Madrid vs. PSG, Kylian Mbappe (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Real Madrid vs. PSG, Kylian Mbappe (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /
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The match we have all been waiting for the past few months is upon us. The mega clash is replete with footballing excellence, resolute leadership, ethereal skills, and a sea of emotions. Grab your popcorn folks, it is PSG versus Real Madrid in the Champions League round of 16.

There is a clear dichotomy between both these sides on various fronts right from the mode of ownership to the style of play. The match could turn out to be a humdinger of a contest. Here we look at the three individual battles that could be decisive across two legs.

Vinicius Junior, Real Madrid
Vinicius Junior, Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

1. Vinicius Junior versus Achraf Hakimi

The wonder boy Vinicius Jr. has turned a corner this season. Speed, acceleration, and trickery were always there in his armory. Adding goal scoring to his repertoire has turned him into an absolute nightmare for the defenders.

He will be up against Real Madrid academy product Achraf Hakimi. After helping Inter win an elusive Seria A title, Hakimi moved to PSG for a whopping 70 million Euros. In the words of his teammate Kylian Mbappe, Hakimi has been the best right-back in the world. And this statement does not look like a long shot.

Hakimi’s searing pace can be a calamity for the defenses. Combine that with his sweet right foot and we get the perfect wing-back. The only issue with his gung ho approach is that he is out of position quite often. This is where Vini thrives.

Vini has the capability of destroying the defenses that offer him even an iota of space. This has transformed Real Madrid into a fearsome counter-attacking team.  Hakimi has his task cut out against Vini on Tuesday.

Another underrated aspect where Vini has proven to be invaluable to the team has been his defensive interventions. He is quick to track back and help Mendy tidy up the defense. In contrast, PSG wing-backs are isolated since neither of the preferred front three is interested in defensive duties. This could however change if Pochettino decides to start Angel Di Maria on the right-wing.

We have a mouthwatering battle on our hands on the left-wing. With both these players able to clock speed upwards of 36 Km/h, the fans are sure to satiate their need for speed.