3 things that must happen for a Real Madrid comeback vs. PSG in the Champions League

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, PSG, Kylian Mbappe (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, PSG, Kylian Mbappe (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /

2. Benzema-Vinicius must get back in form

Before the game against Alaves, Real Madrid had scored just one goal in four matches. With Benzema out injured and Vinicius looking less energetic than before, the Real Madrid attack looked toothless. Against PSG, neither of the two forwards could muster a shot on goal and had a night to forget.

Goals against Alaves should give them much-needed confidence before the PSG second leg. They cannot afford to have an off game. Perhaps it won’t be the worst idea to give Vinicius a rest in one of the league games. January’s hectic domestic schedule combined with a trip to South America seems to have taken a toll on Vini.

Vini-Benzema is paramount to Real Madrid’s offensive output. Along with Asensio they now have scored 50 goals combined this season, the first time a trident has achieved this for Real Madrid since 2017-18. However, Asensio has been quite inconsistent and you cannot expect him to score at the crucial junctures on a big European night.

Vinicius’s strengths are explosiveness and the ability to thwart defenses with his searing pace. He was not able to showcase any of those skills in the first leg. It is fair to say he lost his battle against Hakimi. However, Hakimi is not a traditional wing-back who will always be defensively sound. In the first leg, it was more of a collective failure on part of Real Madrid that they failed to get out of their half. If the midfield can win the ball in good areas, Vini can run circles around Hakimi.

On the other hand, Real Madrid hopes that Benzema is in peak physical shape. There is not even an iota of doubt that he will be a threat to the PSG defense if fully fit. Marquinhos and Kimpembe were successfully able to isolate Benzema which is a rare sight. But Benzema would not give them another chance this time around. Real Madrid’s captain will be itching to salvage the tie.