August 10, 2022

Real Madrid will face Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the last 16 tie of the Champions League this evening.

This is the first time since 2019 that the two biggest players in European football have met.

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In 2019-20, they competed against each other in the group stage.

PSG beat Real 3-0 in the first match thanks to two goals from Angel Di Maria and a late strike by Thomas Munier.

But back in the Bernabeu on November 26, Zinedine Zidane’s side took a 2-0 lead thanks to a double goal from Karim Benzema with ten minutes remaining.

However, a dramatic late return saw Kylian Mbappe and former Madrid player Pablo Sarabia score twice in three minutes for PSG to draw the French team 2-2.

They topped Group A and reached the final, while Real were knocked out by Manchester City in the Round of 16.

And despite the pre-season match, there are still a lot of changes compared to the current squads.

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Sergio Ramos and Rafael Varane’s center-back duo have both moved on, with Ramos facing his old side.

Thibaut Courtois, Dani Carvajal and Marcelo completed the last five in 2019 and this time all may be prominent again.

And the midfield three of Casmero, Fed Vellore and Tony Cruz could be the same again with Karim Benzema.

However, although Wideman Eden Hazard and Esco are still at the club, they are unlikely to join the starting XI alongside Venezius Jr., Rodrigo, Marco Asensio and even Gareth Bale.

On the far side, former Real stopper Keller Navas Menier, Thiago Silva, Prentice Campbell and Juan Bernat were among the sticks behind the back four.

Idrissa Gueye, Marquinhos and Marco Verratti completed all three in midfield with Di Maria and Mbappe from both sides of Mauro Icardi.

Neymar came off the bench for Thomas Tochl, as did goal scorers Sarabia and Julian Drexler.

Zidane replaced Bell, Rodrigo and Luca Modric.

Hostility resumes.

Both sides are aiming to win the Champions League this season.

For tonight’s hosts at the Parc des Princes, this will be their first European title but the Spaniards are heading for the 14th crown.

The PSG now have players like Ramos, Achraf Hakimi, Guinea Vignaldum and Lionel Messi and Mauricio Pochettino in the dugout.

Real boss Carlo Ancelotti can now contact Eduardo Camaunga and David Alaba.

Karim Benzema scored twice to give Real a 2-0 lead at the Bernabeu.

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Karim Benzema scored twice to give Real a 2-0 lead at the Bernabeu.Credit: Getty
Pablo Sarabia was attacked by Marquinhos and Neymar after their dramatic draw.

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Pablo Sarabia was attacked by Marquinhos and Neymar after their dramatic draw.Credit: Getty
Sergio Ramos switched to the Spanish capital for the French last summer.

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Sergio Ramos switched to the Spanish capital for the French last summer.Credit: Mega Agency

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