Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain will meet for their Champions League first leg Round of 16 encounter on 14 February, 2018 and football analysts think the odds are stacked against the Spanish side, but there are facts to consider ahead of the historical derby.
• Madrid are looking to reach the quarter-finals for the eighth successive year. Their round of 16 record is 8 wins and 6 losses. They lost at this stage for six years in a row between 2005 and 2010.
• In the 2016/17 round of 16, Madrid were 3-1 winners both home and away to SSC Napoli.
• The Merengues have won 33 of their last 39 UEFA Champions League home matches, losing just once – 4-3 to FC Schalke 04 in their 2014/15 round of 16 second leg, when they still prevailed 5-4 on aggregate.
• Zinedine Zidane’s charges collected seven points at home in this season’s competition, beating APOEL 3-0 and Borussia Dortmund 3-2 either side of a 1-1 draw against Tottenham.
• Ronaldo became the first player to score in all six group games, registering nine goals overall.
• Madrid have lost just two of their last 25 European fixtures, most recently the 3-1 defeat at Tottenham on matchday four, winning 17 and drawing six.
• Those 2015 games against Paris were Madrid’s last matches against French opposition. They are unbeaten in their last nine such encounters (W6 D3), going back to a 1-0 loss at Olympique Lyonnais in the 2009/10 round of 16 first leg (1-2 aggregate). In those wins they scored 15 goals without reply.
• Madrid have kept five successive clean sheets against French sides, scoring ten goals (W4 D1).
• That 1994 defeat by Paris is the Merengues’ only reverse in their 14 matches at home to Ligue 1 visitors (W10 D3). They have won their last four home matches.
• While Madrid have lost both their two-legged knockout ties with Paris, against French clubs overall their knockout record is W3 L4. Their most recent contests were a 4-1 aggregate victory against Lyon in the 2010/11 round of 16 (1-1 away, 3-0 home).
• Champions of Europe for a 12th time in 2016/17 – courtesy of their 4-1 final win against Juventus – Madrid aim to become the first team since Bayern München in 1976 to claim three successive European Champion Clubs’ Cups. AFC Ajax (1971–73) and Madrid themselves (1956–60) are the only other sides to have won three or more in a row.
• This is Paris’ sixth successive round of 16 tie – and also their sixth overall. They won the first four, but exited in dramatic circumstances at this stage 12 months ago.
• Paris were on the wrong end of the biggest comeback in UEFA Champions League history in last term’s round of 16. Having won 4-0 at home to FC Barcelona, the French outfit succumbed 6-1 in the away leg to bow out – with Neymar, now of Paris, providing two Barça goals and an assist.
• That was the Parisian side’s last trip to Spain, where their record is W4 D2 L7. They have lost on their last four visits: three at Barcelona and that 2015 reverse in Madrid.
• Beaten 3-1 by Bayern on matchday six to prevent them winning all six Group B games, Paris nevertheless finished the section with 25 goals, setting a new UEFA Champions League record.
• The Parisians have won seven of their last 12 away fixtures in the competition, winning 5-0 at Celtic and 4-0 at Anderlecht this season; they have lost four games in that run. Matchday one was their first clean sheet in seven away matches; they subsequently managed another at Anderlecht.
• The French club’s record in two-legged ties against Spanish sides is W5 L3. Those three defeats have come in the three most recent contests, all against Barcelona – in last season’s round of 16 and the quarter-finals of 2015 and 2013.
• Paris have never lost the first leg of a round of 16 tie (W4 D1).
Coach and player links
• Zinédine Zidane faced Paris four times as a player for FC Girondins de Bordeaux and Juventus (W2 D1 L1).
• Unai Emery twice faced Real Madrid’s B team, Castilla, as a CD Toledo player (W2). However as manager of Almería, Valencia and Sevilla he has won just five of his 20 games against the Merengues (D1 L14) including a 2-0 defeat in the 2014 UEFA Super Cup with Sevilla FC.
• 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 neighbors Club Atlético de Madrid.
• Lassana Diarra made 87 Liga appearances for Madrid between 2008 and 2013, winning the Copa del Rey in 2011 and the league title the following season.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) January 23, 2018
• Dani Alves was in the Juventus team beaten 4-1 by Madrid in last season’s UEFA Champions League final; Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice with Casemiro and Marco Asensio also on target for the Merengues.
• Draxler’s VfL Wolfsburg beat Real Madrid 2-0 in the first leg of the 2015/16 quarter finals; he was also in the side that succumbed to a Ronaldo hat-trick in a 3-0 second-leg turnaround in Spain.
• Raphaël Varane’s fifth game in the RC Lens first team was a Coupe de France tie at Paris in January 2011; his side lost 5-1. Varane did help Lens to a 0-0 Ligue 1 draw at the Parc des Princes the following month.
• Karim Benzema faced Paris seven times during his time in France with Lyon (W4 D2 L1). He was part of the Lyon team that beat Paris 1-0 in the Coupe de France final in May 2008.
• Marcelo scored Madrid’s goal in a 3-1 defeat by Paris in an Ohio friendly in 2016.
• Alphonse Areola helped Villarreal CF to a 1-0 Liga win against Madrid in December 2015 during a season-long loan spell at the Yellow Submarine.
• International team-mates:
Casemiro, Marcelo & Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Dani Alves, Neymar (Brazil)
Raphaël Varane & Layvin Kurzawa, Adrien Rabiot, Kylian Mbappé, Lassana Diarra (France)
Toni Kroos & Kevin Trapp, Julian Draxler (Germany)
• Have played together:
Borja Mayoral & Julian Draxler (VfL Wolfsburg 2016)
Sergio Ramos & Dani Alves (Sevilla FC 2003–05)
• Have played in France:
Karim Benzema (Olympique Lyonnais 2005–09)
Raphaël Varane (RC Lens 2010/11)
• Have played in Spain:
Yuri Berchiche (Real Valladolid CF, 2009/10, Real Unión 2010–12, SD Eibar 2012–14, Real Sociedad 2014–17)
Neymar (FC Barcelona 2013–17)
Alphonse Areola (Villarreal CF, 2015/16)
Dani Alves (Sevilla FC 2002–08, FC Barcelona 2008–16)
Thiago Motta (FC Barcelona 2001–07, Club Atlético de Madrid 2007/08)
• A Germany team including Trapp, Kroos and Draxler drew 2-2 against France, who fielded Mbappé, Rabiot, Varane and substitute Kurzawa, in a friendly on 14 November 2017.
• UEFA Champions League squad changes
• Dani Carvajal completes a two-match ban in the first leg against Paris.
• Ronaldo scored nine goals in the group stage – three more than any other player. He also had 21 shots on target and 18 shots off target, also competition highs.
• Madrid have won just three of their seven Liga fixtures since matchday six, losing two.*
• Zidane’s side lifted the FIFA Club World Cup for the second year in a row – and the third time in four years – with a 1-0 defeat of Brazil’s Grêmio FBPA on 17 December. Ronaldo scored the winner having also been on target in the 2-1 semi-final win against Al Jazira Club of the UAE.
• Madrid were knocked out of the Copa del Rey in the quarter-finals, losing on away goals to CD Leganés. A 1-0 away win in the first leg preceded a 2-1 home reverse.
• Ronaldo has scored four goals in his last three Liga appearances, but has only eight strikes in the league this season.*
• Gareth Bale has five goals in his last six games in all competitions.*
• Karim Benzema is without a league goal since 25 November.*
• Madrid have kept only two clean sheets in their last ten games in all competitions, both in the Copa del Rey. They have conceded at least once in every league game since the 5-0 defeat of Sevilla FC on 9 December.*
• Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Toni Kroos and Luka Modrić were all included in the UEFA.com Fans’ Team of the Year 2017.
• UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Lassana Diarra
Out: Rémy Descamps, Moussa Diaby, Alec Georgen, Lucas Moura
• Edinson Cavani became Paris’ record scorer in all competitions with his 157th goal for the club against Montpellier Hérault SC on 27 January, surpassing Zlatan Ibrahimović’s total of 156.*
• Cavani, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé have scored 16 of Paris’ 25 goals in this season’s UEFA Champions League.
• Paris have lost only one of their 14 games in all competitions since matchday six, winning the rest; they went down 2-1 at Olympique Lyonnais on 21 January. That was only the Parisians’ third reverse of the season in all competitions; they have played 37, winning all but five.*
• Unai Emery’s side beat Stade Rennais FC 3-2 in the French League Cup semi-finals on 30 January to reach another final in the competition. Paris play AS Monaco FC in Bordeaux on 31 March seeking a fifth straight title, and a record eighth League Cup.
• Paris progressed to the French Cup quarter-finals with a 4-1 win away to Ligue 2 side FC Sochaux-Montbéliard on 6 February, Ángel Di María scoring his first hat-trick since registering three in SL Benfica’s 4-0 victory at Leixões SC in the Portuguese Liga on 27 February 2010. Paris lost goalkeeper Kevin Trapp to a late red card at Sochaux.
• The Parisians take on Olympique de Marseille in the quarter-finals on 27/28 February.
• Paris have now gone four years undefeated in domestic cup competitions, winning 38 games in a row since 22 Jan 2014, when they lost 2-1 at home to Montpellier in the Coupe de France round of 32.
• Dani Alves was included in the UEFA.com Fans’ Team of the Year 2017.