Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Real Madrid hoping to thrive on big occasion against Neymar's PSG

Gianluca Rocchi amonesta a Arnold en presencia de Bale durante el Wolfsburgo Real Madrid de la temporada 2015-2016 REAL MADRID- PSG Gianluca Rocchi assigned to Real Madrid-PSG first leg JOHN MACDOUGALL AFP
Eugene Bates | 14 February, 2018, 19:52

Di Maria, more recently, has often been linked with a move to Barcelona to team up with worldwide colleague Lionel Messi and has said he would have no problem playing there.

Michael Laudrup believes his former clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid deserve to be considered as favourites for the Champions League. With Real Madrid having an indifferent season in La Liga, the Champions League remains their only hope for meaningful silverware and that adds more spice to the encounter.

Meanwhile Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino wants to make Porto "suffer" in their Champions League last-16 first-leg tie.

It would also turn out that PSG would indeed have that €200million to put on the table - at least they would five years later, paying Neymar's buyout clause and forcing Barcelona to release one of their prized assets.

It was tough to envision Zidane being in such a position when Madrid cantered to a third Champions League triumph in four seasons, becoming the first team to successfully defend the title in its current guise, with a 4-1 win over Juventus in the final in Cardiff last June. We lost and learned. I don't think so. This will not be an easy game for PSG since they will be away from home and playing Real Madrid is never an easy task. The Portuguese has 43 goals in his last 43 appearances in the knockout phase.

Real warmed up for the game at the Bernabeu with a 5-2 win against Real Sociedad, Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a hat-trick.

Marcelo, the Real left-back and an worldwide colleague of the Brazilian forward, said at the weekend that he could see Neymar one day in the home dressing room at the Bernabeu. "He handles the pressure and responds on the field", said Marquinhos of his fellow Brazilian at a press conference at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Mbappe is in the spotlight, too.

Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos backed Neymar to shine against Real Madrid despite being linked with a move to the LaLiga giants.

"We do not want to see a duel between them but between Real Madrid and PSG".

Hakimi featured in Real's Champions League group games against Tottenham and proved himself a willing runner on the right flank.

PSG travelled without veteran midfielder Thiago Motta, meaning recent signing Lassana Diarra is tipped to start against his old club.

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