If we back track one year, Paris Saint Germain sent shock waves around Europe with a memorable 4-0 win over FC Barcelona. Now one year later Emery’s men have drawn the short straw and now face off the Champions League holders Real Madrid in the biggest game of the season on Valentines day.
There is something different about this fixture to last year: PSG go in as favourites. The Parisians have so far ran away with the Ligue 1 title, sitting a comfortable 12 points ahead of second placed Monaco; scoring an incredible 76 goals in the process.
Of course so much of that success has been down to fearsome attacking line up of Neymar, Cavani and Mbappe. Alongside the outstanding figures in Ligue 1, a competition been criticised in the past for a ‘lack of competition’, this PSG side broke the goal scoring record in the Champions League group stage with a game to spare.
This was the key part of Paris’ successful group stage campaign where they finished top, making drawing Real Madrid an even harder pill to take. The holders have had an indifferent league campaign but of course the mighty Los Blancos know when to turn it on when it matters in the Champions League.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar are the poster boys for each club and an interesting sub-plot to look out for in over the two legs. Ronaldo is currently the top scorer in the competition with 7 goals, and after a hat trick on the weekend in La Liga, he looks to be back to the top of his game. Neymar, on the other hand, has been exceptional all season. It may have been a shock seeing him move to France in the summer, but the way he has tore up opponent after opponent has been far from shocking. This could also be his chance to finally get one over one of his closest rivals for this years Ballon d’Or.
Many experts are divided over who to back in this mouth-watering clash, but as long as PSG play to their strengths and attack a fragile Madrid defence, I can see PSG getting one over Real Madrid in their backyard and making it a night to remember for many Parisians on Valentines day.
Predicted Starting XI
(4-3-3) Areola; Dani Alves, Kimpembe, Marquinhos, Berchiche; Diarra, Verratti, Rabiot; Neymar, Cavani, Mbappe
Real Madrid 1-1 PSG
Emery would be buzzing if PSG can get an away goal at the Bernabeu and I believe that PSG have the weapons to challenge the Real Madrid backline, but the hosts could just as easily cancel it out. It ends all even.