Big Match Feature: PSG v Madrid + Facts….

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)

Paris: WWWWWD

Real Madrid: WDWDWW

The two sides with six points in Group A, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, meet on matchday three with the chance to claim outright leadership of Group A.

Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid CF, both with maximum points, go head to head at the Parc des Princes with the opportunity to claim outright leadership of Group A.

Previous Meetings

Paris knocked the Spanish side out of Europe two years in a row: in the 1992/93 Uefa Cup quarterfinals (1-3 a, 4-1 h), and in the 1993/94 European Cup Winners’ Cup quarterfinals (1-0 a, 1-1 h).

On 15 March 1994 Emilio Butragueño put Vicente Del Bosque’s Madrid ahead, only for Raymundo to win the tie for Artur Jorge’s Paris.

The line-ups at Parc des Princes were:

Paris: Lama, Sassus, Colleter, Raymundo, Roche, Le Guen, Fournier, Guérin, Weah (Gravelaine 88), Valdo, Ginola (Bravo 76).

Madrid: Buyo, Velasco, Luis Enrique, Alkorta, Sanchís, Hierro, Butragueño, Gonzalez, Zamorano, Prosinecki (Dubovský 64), Martín (Goicoechea 73).

Match Background

Paris

The French club, in their eighth group stage campaign, began with a 2-0 home win against Malmö FF and followed up with a 3-0 victory at FC Shakhtar Donetsk.

Having gone out in the quarterfinals in each of the past three seasons, Paris are aiming for a second semifinal appearance having reached the last four in 1994/95.

Last season Laurent Blanc’s side won all three home group games before drawing 1-1 against Chelsea FC in the round of 16 first leg, going on to win the tie on away goals.

Last season’s 3-1 defeat at home to FC Barcelona (1-5 overall) in the quarterfinals was only their second in 12 fixtures against Spanish visitors. Their previous loss was 3-1 against RC Deportivo La Coruña in the 2000/01 Uefa Champions League second group stage.

Paris’ home record against Spanish visitors is W6 D4 L2; overall it is W10 D6 L8.

Madrid

The ten-time winners began their 20th group-stage campaign with a 4-0 home victory against Shakhtar before winning 2-0 at Malmö.

The Spanish giants won all three away group fixtures last season; the previous campaign they won two and drew the other. Their unbeaten group away run stands at eight, since a 2-1 defeat at Borussia Dortmund in 2012/13.

The 0-0 draw at Club Atlético de Madrid in last season’s quarterfinals was only the second time in 31 Uefa Champions League away fixtures that Madrid had failed to score, since going down 1-0 at Olympique Lyonnais in the 2009/10 round of 16.

In 2014/15 they advanced to a fifth successive semifinal, where they lost to Juventus (1-2 away, 1-1 home). The defeat was only their sixth in 31 away games in the competition.

Madrid have won their last three games with French sides, all against Lyon, scoring nine goals without conceding.

They have not lost any of the last seven such fixtures, winning five and drawing two. In those wins they scored 14 without reply.

Coach And Player Links

Ángel Di María made 124 Liga appearances for Madrid between 2010 and 2015, scoring 22 goals, and was named man of the match as the Merengues lifted their tenth European title in 2014 with a 4-1 victory over neighbours Atlético.

Karim Benzema scored in Madrid’s 1-0 win over Paris in a Gothenburg friendly on 27 July 2013.

Rafael Benítez coached Thiago Motta at FC Internazionale Milano in 2010.

Have played together:

James Rodríguez and Layvin Kurzawa (AS Monaco FC 2013/14).

International teammates:

Benzema, Varane & Matuidi, Kurzawa (France)

Danilo, Casemiro, Marcelo & David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Lucas Moura (Brazil)

Motta also played for Barcelona until 2007 and then moved to Atlético.

Ibrahimovic scored Barcelona’s winner in a 1-0 Camp Nou victory against Madrid in 2009.

Marcelo scored an own goal for Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic’s Croatia in the 2014 Fifa World Cup opening match which Brazil won 3-1. Thiago Silva and David Luiz also played for Brazil.

Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani scored a penalty in the 2014 World Cup past Keylor Navas but Costa Rica went on to win 3-1 in Fortaleza.

James Rodríguez scored in Colombia’s 2-1 win against Serge Aurier’s Ivory Coast in the 2014 World Cup group stage. He scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Cavani’s Uruguay in the round of 16 and converted a penalty in the 2-1 quarterfinal defeat by Brazil, Thiago Silva and David Luiz both scoring for the home team who also included Marcelo.

Toni Kroos scored twice as Germany beat a Brazil side including David Luiz and Marcelo 7-1 in the 2014 World Cup semifinal in Belo Horizonte.

Sergio Ramos scored Spain’s goal in a 1-1 Madrid draw against a France side including Matuidi and Benzema in a World Cup qualifier on 16 October 2012.

Lucas scored Brazil’s third goal in a 3-0 win against Matuidi and Benzema’s France in the 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup in Porto Alegre. Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Marcelo also played for the home team.

Blanc was in charge of Les Bleus when they lost 2-0 to Ramos’ Spain in the Uefa EURO 2012 quarterfinal. Benzema was in France’s side and Matuidi was on the bench.

Match Facts

Paris

Luiz’s next yellow card will incur a suspension.

The Ligue 1 leaders are unbeaten this season in all competitions, winning 11 and drawing two of their 13 fixtures.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic became Paris’ all-time top scorer with two penalties against Olympique de Marseille on 4 October, taking his tally for the club to 110 goals, one more than Pauleta. He added two more in the 2-0 defeat of SC Bastia on Saturday.

Ibrahimovic scored against both Liechtenstein and Moldova in Sweden’s last two Uefa EURO 2016 qualifiers.

Kevin Trapp (thigh) and Luiz (knee) sustained injuries during the international break. Neither featured on Saturday.

Cavani has scored 16 goals in his last 17 Ligue 1 games.

Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal in the 3-0 win against UD Levante on Saturday moved him ahead of Raúl González on 324 goals in all competitions as Real Madrid’s all-time top scorer.

The Portuguese international’s double on matchday two against Malmö took his tally to 82 Champions League goals, a competition record.

On 16 October, Raúl confirmed he will retire in November. The 38-year-old is Madrid’s record appearance holder with 741 having made his debut aged 17, and won the Uefa Champions League with the club in 1998, 2000 and 2002.

Luka Modric (thigh) and Karim Benzema (hamstring) both picked up injuries on international duty with Croatia and France respectively. Neither featured on Saturday

Dani Carvajal (ankle), Sergio Ramos (shoulder), Danilo (foot), James Rodríguez (thigh) and Pepe (leg) have also been injured

Benzema scored twice in France’s 4-0 friendly win against Armenia.

Gareth Bale scored the second goal as Wales ended their successful Uefa EURO 2016 qualifying campaign with a 2-0 home win against Andorra.

Laurent Blanc, Paris coach

This match will be special and great for the prestige of our club: we’re playing against one of Europe’s greatest clubs. When you compare our squads, it’s difficult to say it’s equal. Just look at their trophy room: Madrid are a top team in Europe; Paris are not there yet.

But we can win. Because we’re at home, because we have quality, because we already beaten one of Europe’s greatest – Barcelona. We need to respect our opponents but we can do it. It’s not a decisive match, although winning our group is a very important objective – but it’s not decisive yet.

I love everything about Cristiano Ronaldo. Just look at his statistics: he’s one of two extraterrestrials gracing modern football. He’s good in all departments: he’s fast, takes on defenders, scores goals. So yes, we’ll have an eye on him. There will be no anti-Ronaldo plan, nothing specific – just to be vigilant at all times.

Madrid seem happy to defend deep and launch counterattacks, because they have the players to do so: they fly like the wind! At times you think you’re on the brink of scoring against them, and ten seconds later you concede. They are very efficient.

Rafael Benítez, Real Madrid coach

Over the last few years they have won everything on the domestic front and proven they’re the best team in France. On top of that, they have bought some very good players, so we’ll take up this challenge with a lot of enthusiasm. All the ingredients are there for a great match against a great team. This will be a game between equals.

Luka Modric has trained for the last few days. If he’s part of the travelling squad, he’s available. We’ll see and take our decision after training. Real Madrid players always need to be ready to play and that’s the same with Jesé. I don’t know who will replace Gareth Bale and I won’t know until tomorrow.

It’s true we have several injured players, but we can count on Real Madrid’s greatest goalscorer in European football and perhaps football history. He’s up there with Pelé, maybe.

Possible Line-up

Paris: Trapp/Sirigu; Aurier, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Maxwell; Verratti, Matuidi, Thiago Motta; Di María, Ibrahimovic, Cavani.

Out: David Luiz (knee), Kimpembe (ankle)

Doubtful: Trapp (thigh), Verratti (calf)

Real Madrid: Navas; Danilo, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Isco, Ronaldo, Kovacic.

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