Ancelotti: We don’t have to go crazy
Carlo Ancelotti has reminded Real Madrid that Paris Saint-Germain are more than just Kylian Mbappe – with Lionel Messi and Neymar among their ranks too.
Les Parisiens have all three of their star attackers starting at the Bernabeu tonight protecting a 1-0 lead from the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.
“We have a plan not only for Mbappe, but also for Neymar, Messi and all of PSG’s top players,” Ancelotti told reporters.
“The plan is to play as a block, with the ball and without the ball, to put in intensity, to endure the 90 minutes, and to play a complete game.
“It has to be an intelligent game, we don’t have to go crazy. We have to win the game. We don’t have to score many goals, we just have to win it. You can go ahead immediately or in the last minute, the important thing is to keep the game alive and play with intensity.”
Safe to say the home fans are very much up for this one tonight…
Nice quiet welcome for the Real players.
Mauricio Pochettino has stressed that those inside Paris Saint-Germain remain “calm” about the future of Kylian Mbappe.
The striker has long been linked with a move to Real Madrid upon the expiration of his contract at the end of the season and scored against Spanish giants when the two clubs met in the first-leg of their tie last month.
“I think he lacks a bit of naturalness,” said Pochettino at his pre-match press conference.
“Sometimes we talk too much. We are calm with Kylian, it’s clear.
“He is mature even if he is young. I don’t doubt Kylian. He won’t change his way of playing because of what’s happening on the outside.”
Big news for PSG is that Mbappe is indeed fit to start, after that scare earlier in the week. Pochettino has his star-studded attack available in Madrid.
Not exactly short of options on the bench either, with the likes of Di Maria, Icardi, Wijnaldum, Draxler…
Starting XI: Donnarumma, Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Mendes, Paredes, Pereira, Verratti, Messi, Mbappe, Neymar
Subs: Michut, Simons, Navas, Icardi, Di Maria, Dagba, Wijnaldum, Diallo, Draxler, Kehrer, Gueye, Ebimbe.
Favourites to win Champions League
Liverpool and Bayern Munich are through to the Champions League quarter-finals, with Man City also effectively in the last eight after their huge first-leg win.
PSG the fourth favourites to win the competition as it stands, while Real Madrid are seen as outsiders for now – that will change significantly should they turn this tie around tonight.
Latest Champions League odds:
- Manchester City – 12/5
- Liverpool – 16/5
- Bayern Munich – 4/1
- PSG – 7/1
- Chelsea – 8/1
- Ajax – 16/1
- Real Madrid – 25/1
- Manchester United – 25/1
- Juventus – 25/1
Odds via Betfair
Real go early with their team news then.
Kroos is fit and starts, which is a big boost for Ancelotti. Valverde joins him in midfield, in place of the suspended Casemiro.
Might have expected Marcelo to start in Mendy’s absence, but Nacho comes in instead. Could well be Alaba moved out to left-back.