Neymar, suspended, overconfidence… Five questions before an explosive and already (very) expected Real Madrid-PSG

DECRYPTION – After the Parisian success in the round of 16 first leg of C1, Tuesday (1-0), questions arise in view of the return, on March 9, in Madrid.

Expected at the turn, Paris Saint-Germain responded on Tuesday. If they had to wait until the last minute to win against Real Madrid (1-0), thanks to a goal of “the alien» Kylian Mbappé, «best player of the momentAccording to Carlo Ancelotti, the Parisians generally dominated their opponents and made an impression during this round of 16 first leg of the Champions League. They will have to confirm on March 9, at the Santiago-Bernabeu, and thus validate their ticket for the quarterfinals, as in 2020 and 2021. Focus on the questions that come to mind three weeks before this expected meeting.

What should PSG “export” to Madrid from their victory at the Parc des Princes?

We had seen the premises for a few weeks, we had confirmation on Tuesday: PSG is gaining in solidity over the matches. Two goals conceded in eight matches in 2022. An asset that Mauricio Pochettino’s players would be inspired to take with them in their luggage to Spain, as well as their solidarity, their involvement and their excess of energy. This is the basis, but it has not always been the prerogative of a Paris-SG often feverish since the start of the season, and lacking in structure. This time the plan was clear and well executed by Parisians dominating in spirit and game. The hybrid role of Danilo Pereira was interesting. He could go to Gana Gueye. Mbappé, Marco Verratti (warned but still brilliant on Tuesday evening) and Marquinhos (little requested) will have to be on top again. “I’m happy with the team’s game“, summed up “Poche”, regretting this score “little bit just». «With good pressing, we cut Real Madrid’s playing circuits, we stopped them from building“, he added. This is all that we will have to take to the Bernabeu, trying to leave the lack of efficiency in Paris and knowing that Real Madrid will necessarily be better and animated by more belligerent intentions.

How to reintegrate Neymar into the beautiful Parisian mechanics?

Neymar, the return. Out since November 28, the 30-something Brazilian has worked hard to be ready to face Real Madrid. Bank. If he finally did not start, “Ney” played the last quarter of an hour and appeared rather in his legs. In three weeks (see elsewhere), he will have plenty of time to get back into shape and it’s a safe bet that he will be part of the eleven at the Bernabeu. It remains to be seen how to reinstate the former Barcelonan. Unless you imagine a tactical change, he will numerically take the place of Angel Di Maria in front. Given the state of form of “Fideo”, Paris will win in terms of strike force. Will Neymar be able to bring as much as him to recovery? To see also what his return will imply for Mbappé and Messi in terms of positioning. “We will also have to configure with Ney, he is also an important player, a player who changes our team“Said Mbappé after the recent card in Lille (1-5). “We must find these automatisms“, he added Tuesday evening. Note that Pochettino aspired to start Neymar against Real according to The Teamour colleagues adding that it was the player himself who wisely refused.

How will Carlo Ancelotti cope with the suspensions of Casemiro and Ferland Mendy?

As best as possible, you will have understood it, but the two cards inflicted on the Brazilian midfielder and the French defender on Tuesday evening at the Parc des Princes did not make Carlo Ancelotti smile. The Italian technician knows better than anyone the weight and contribution of these two players. The alternatives are known, but not necessarily pleasing for the merengue club, with Federico Valverde or Eduardo Camavinga for the first city, whose profile, experience (79 matches in C1) and aggressiveness will certainly be lacking, and Marcelo for the second. Aged 33, the Brazilian side has his experience on his side, but does not offer all the defensive guarantees… His best years are clearly behind him. The possibility of sliding David Alaba to the side would force Ancelotti to establish Nacho Fernandez in the center and form a somewhat experimental hinge with Eder Militao. Nacho can also help out on the left. There are three weeks left for the “Mister” to decide and perhaps do some tests in the next matches.

What is the program for the two clubs between now and their reunion?

No jealousy between the two clubs, which have three league matches on the menu by March 9. As for PSG, leader in the Ligue 1 standings with a comfortable mattress 13 points ahead of second-placed OM, a trip to Nantes is planned for Saturday (9 p.m.), during the 25th day, before the reception of Saint-Etienne on February 26 (9 p.m.) and a delicate trip to Nice, four days before the Madrid meeting. Remember that the Aiglons took a point at the Parc in L1 (0-0) before eliminating PSG in the Coupe de France (0-0, 5-6 pens).

As for Real, less sovereign leader of La Liga with four units ahead of Sevilla FC but 11 over Betis, nothing insurmountable. The reception of Alavès on Saturday (9 p.m.) on behalf of the 25th trick, then the (short) trip to the lawn of Rayo Vallecano on February 16 (6.30 p.m.) and finally the arrival of Real Sociedad – current sixth in the standings – at Bernabeu, March 5 (9 p.m.). Suffice to say that Mauricio Pochettino and Carlo Ancelotti have all the latitude to prepare their troops as well as possible before a return match which promises to be explosive.

Does PSG already have a foot in the quarter-finals?

One “slight advantage“. That’s all PSG won on Tuesday night, as Mbappé said. No more no less. There is therefore no reason to be proud in the Parisian ranks, nor to worry unduly in those of Real. Especially since the away goal rule only exists in the history books. Moreover, the Rouge et Bleu did not boast on social networks or in their post-match reactions. “A team like Real never refuses the fight. They had a strategy. It didn’t work for this first leg but I think they will play differently on the return because they won’t have a choice.“, swears Mbappé, slipping in passing “that we know how we can be after beautiful European eveningson the side of Paris. Impliedly, overconfidence is never far away… The memory of the routs against Barcelona or Manchester United is still present… Is an informed Parisian worth two? Response on March 9 in the evening.

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