Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Real Madrid V PSG
Wednesday 14th February. 7:45PM. BT Sport
The highlight of the Valentine’s night football comes from the Bernabeu as two heavyweights lock battle in probably the most exciting round of 16 tie that anyone could’ve asked for.
There will be no love lost as PSG face off against the Champions League holders. It’s Cristiano Ronaldo v Neymar, Zinedine Zidane v Unai Emery, and the capital of Spain against the capital of France.
Quite simply, it has all the makings of a classic. Do not miss it.
Ronaldo Back Among The Goals
The 2017-18 campaign has been a turbulent one to say the least for Real Madrid, who are miles off the pace in the league and seem to have lost their swag. That has largely been down to a drop in goals from star man Ronaldo. However, following his 43rd hat-trick for the club against Real Sociedad, the Blancos can enter this first leg with renewed confidence.
Despite a stuttered campaign, Ronaldo was the leading marksman in the group phase too while Zidane can pick from an almost fully fit squad, including the likes of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Isco providing further attacking options. If Toni Kroos and Luka Modric can control the midfield battle, the holders can be hopeful.
While the hosts will be under no illusions about the difficult of this test, they have dominated this competition in recent years, winning three of the last four editions. Even with the domestic problems, a third triumph on the bounce would signal a huge achievement. Winning on Wednesday would fire a signal of their intent.
Then again, they have shown a vulnerable side this season, and the French visitors will hope to capitalise.
Neymar Bidding For The Spotlight
If anyone is going to escape the shadow cast by Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the world’s most expensive player is the most likely candidate. While Neymar has been linked with a move to Real Madrid this summer, his target for this season is to fire PSG to a first ever Champions League title. The former Barcelona star has shown his capabilities against the Blancos before, and nobody would want to bet against him having a big say here.
PSG are far from a one-man team, however, and the likes of Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe should give the visitors a fighting chance. Former Madrid star Angel Di Maria has been in great form too and will be eager to prove his worth once more.
Manager Emery has tasted European success on three occasions via the Europa League during his time at Sevilla. However, after a relatively disappointing first campaign at the Parc Des Princes, there is a little pressure to combine domestic dominance with a good run in this competition. A positive result at the Bernabeu could signal a huge step in the right direction, especially after lat year’s unforgettable disappointment against Barcelona.
Whatever happens, it should be a phenomenal encounter.
Real Madrid V PSG Betting Tips
With home advantage on their side, Real Madrid are the slight favourites for this one at 27/20 with Coral while PSG are only slight outsiders at odds of 17/10. Alternatively, the draw can be backed at 13/5.
PSG enter this clash having won 14 of their last 15 matches, and boast both the quality and confidence to cause problems here. Given Real Madrid’s obvious frailties, there should be an away goal.
Nonetheless, this is Real’s competition, and Zidane’s men can step up to win this leg. While we certainly wouldn’t rule PSG out over the two legs, we fancy Madrid to sneak the victory here. The Parisians lost 3-1 away at Bayern in the group phase, and a similar result could be on the cards here.
BET: BTTS & Real Madrid win @ 13/5 with Coral
If anyone is going to step up and win this game for the hosts, Ronaldo is still the leading candidate.
The No.7’s powers are starting to fade, especially in terms of controlling the game. Nonetheless, he remains one of the most lethal finishers on the planet and will be looking to grab the headlines once again in what has been a kind competition to him over the years.
BET: Cristiano Ronaldo to be Man of the Match @ 19/5 withBetfair