The wait is coming to its final stages as both Real Madrid and PSG have played their three games since they last met at Paris to play out the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 ties. The game ended in a 1-0 scoreline favoring the hosts. Target-man Kylian Mbappe was again on target as he finally got the better of Real Madrid’s star goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois within injury time.
While the scoreline makes it look much closer than it really was, Real Madrid fans would know how embarrassing that performance was from the club. But, Real Madrid is a club with a lot of character and their history is full of famous European comebacks. The team looked fresh in their recent 4-1 thrashing of Real Sociedad at the White House. And, I believe in them to come back and turn that one-goal deficit into an aggregate score favoring them to eliminate PSG in mid-week. Here are three reasons to explain why this is very possible.
3. A massive confidence boost from a big-game performance
Both Real Madrid and PSG have played three games in their respective leagues since they last met in Paris and it is easy to say that Real Madrid is the team in better touch among the two. While Real Madrid won all three games, PSG lost two of their last three including the very last game against OGC Nice, a game where Kylian Mbappe was rested. And, even though PSG started a strong enough team with Neymar Jr., Lionel Messi, and Angel Di Maria starting in the attacking trident they couldn’t find a way to score.
Real Madrid on the other hand is coming on the backdrop of one of their best performances in the recent games. A 4-1 thrashing of Real Sociedad at home, a comeback victory at that. Also, a game that included two absolute golazos from the old guard and the future of Real’s midfield, Luka Modric and Eduardo Camavinga.
Camavinga is expected to start the game keeping in mind Carlos Casemiro’s suspension. And, if he keeps up the form from the game against La Real, things could look up for him and Real Madrid. The same can also be said for the two other midfielders expected to start. While Luka Modric dropped a masterclass in the weekend, Fede Valverde who is set to replace Toni Kroos was a star in February with serial solid performances.
Karim Benzema has looked much more like the player he is and has stacked up three goals and three assists in the last three games. Benzema’s fitness was a major problem while venturing forward for Real Madrid in the first leg. In the second leg, things would be different as the Striker King himself has looked in fine touch. And I cannot stress this any further, it is absolutely pivotal for Benzema to be playing well for Real Madrid to win this game. He is the one who leads the pack and links everything up. He makes players like Vinicius Junior play better when alongside him.