Paris Saint-Germain want to erase seven years of Champions League heartache this season. While PSG have dominated French football since the club started splurging ahead of the 2012-13 campaign, this team has yet to make it past the quarterfinals of the Champions League this decade. On the other end of the spectrum is Real Madrid. Real Madrid are the most storied team in the history of this competition with 13 Champions League titles, and they sent PSG out of the 2017-18 edition of this tournament in the Round of 16. PSG would love to upend Real Madrid and take an early lead in Group A.
Don’t miss this Champions League match from the Parc des Princes in Paris, France at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, September 18, 2019. Catch every moment of the match live on TNT.
Champions League Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
Paris Saint-Germain +120
Real Madrid +195
Real Madrid were unable to defend their Champions League title last season, posting one of their most disappointing seasons in recent memory. That led to first Julen Lopetegui and then Santiago Solari being sacked by the club, and Zinedine Zidane returned after less than a year away from the Bernabeu.
It was a big summer for Los Blancos as they brought in Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy, and Rodrygo. All five players commanded transfer fees in excess of €45 million with Hazard’s transfer costing €100 million. However, the early returns have only been marginal with the club holding a 2-2-0 record after four La Liga matches.
As for PSG, the French powerhouse was stunned by Rennes in the second week of the season, but this team has recovered to win its four other games to nil. It hasn’t been all breezy though. PSG needed some Neymar stoppage time magic to beat Strasbourg on Saturday, and for at least a few minutes the animosity between the fans and the talented Brazilian forward faded away. We’ll see how long it lasts.
Unfortunately, injuries and suspensions have robbed this match of much of its luster. Sergio Ramos and Nacho are both suspended for this game as a result of cards accumulated in last year’s competition, and Marco Asensio is a long-term injury. Luka Modric is considered very doubtful to suit up in the midfield, and Isco is questionable.
PSG’s two best players will miss this match. Kylian Mbappe went down with a muscle injury a few weeks ago against Toulouse, and he is still in the process of recovering. Neymar is suspended for critical comments regarding the officiating in last season’s shocking loss to Manchester United, and Edinson Cavani is considered questionable to play, severely limiting the options up top for the club. Thilo Kehrer and Julian Draxler will be unavailable for selection too.
Matchup to Watch
Mauro Icardi is likely to start up top for PSG and the mercurial striker on loan from Inter Milan will look to make his mark against a Real Madrid back line that is battered and bruised. Real Madrid have conceded at least one goal in every game this season, and the absence of so many defenders means that Eder and Raphael Varane are likely to be paired together in the back. Those two have little experience working together, so Icardi and PSG could take advantage of this in a big way.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
It will be interesting to see what both Zidane and Thomas Tuchel do in this game. Both sides are likely to change course and line up differently than they usually do with so many injuries, making this a fun match for budding tacticians. I think a draw is the most likely result, and the under seems like a good bet too.
Champions League Prediction: Paris Saint-Germain 1, Real Madrid 1
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