Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid meet on matchday one of the 2019/20 Champions League in the French capital.
When is PSG v Real Madrid?
PSG v Real Madrid will be shown exclusively live at 8pm on Wednesday 18 September on BT Sport 2 HD, on BT Sport Ultimate and across our digital platforms.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about Parc des Princes showdown or follow one of the options below to jump to a specific section:
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PSG v Real Madrid: Match preview
The opening matchday of the 2019/20 Champions League campaign has arrived and there are some tantalising matches between Europe’s big guns right out of the gate.
Napoli v Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund v Barcelona and Atletico Madrid v Juventus are all fixtures befitting of much deeper into the competition but the glamour tie of the round comes from France’s capital as Paris Saint-Germain take on Real Madrid.
PSG’s Qatari owners have made no secret that their priority has been to win the Champions League.
Despite coach Thomas Tuchel’s insistence that his job is not dependent on success in Europe, president Nasser al-Khelaifi has said the club “must win the competition within the next four years at most”. That was five years ago.
Qatari Sports Investments have splashed out more than £1.2billion on turning PSG into a force in Europe since taking over in 2011.
The big-money arrivals include the world-record £198million arrival of Neymar, the £121m splashed out on Kylian Mbappe, £58m on Edinson Cavani and £56m on Angel Di Maria.
PSG have won 21 domestic trophies under the Qatari’s stewardship, including six Ligue 1 titles, but have yet to qualify for a single Champions League semi-final during that time period.
Last season’s dramatic away goals defeat to Manchester United was the third consecutive season they’ve been dumped out in the last 16.
That run also includes defeats to Wednesday’s opponents Real and the biggest collapse in Champions League history when they sacrificed a 4-0 first-leg lead to lose 6-5 on aggregate to Barcelona.
To get over the hurdle this time, PSG appear to have changed their policy in the transfer market and switched their focus away from big-name superstars.
The arrivals this summer include experienced Premier League midfielders Idrissa Gueye and Ander Herrera, three-time Champions League winning goalkeeper Keylor Navas from Real, consistent winger Pablo Sarabia and promising French centre back Abdou Diallo.
Inter Milan’s enigmatic forward Mauro Icardi is the anomaly but the Argentine is just a loan signing with an option to buy. Rather than splash the cash, PSG have acted more prudently to ensure they get the right balance with their squad.
The proof will be in the pudding though. Defeat to Rennes aside, PSG have made a characteristically strong start to their Ligue 1 title defence but Wednesday evening is where their season truly starts.
Tuchel’s men will enter the match with the Neymar cloud still hanging over them. The Brazilian agitated for a move back to Spain this summer with both Madrid and his former club Barcelona in the running.
The move did not materialise and Neymar remains a PSG player and an unpopular one at that. The world’s most expensive footballer was booed during Saturday's home match against Strasbourg, but then duly stepped up to score a 92-minute overhead kick winning goal.
That's one way to start building bridges for sure but sadly suspension rules the Brazilian out of a showdown with his rumoured suitors.
Their opponents Madrid meanwhile head into Wednesday’s clash with problems of their own. Eden Hazard, a £115m signing from Chelsea, has been sidelined with injury. Fellow arrivals Luka Jovic, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy and Rodrygo have yet to make an impact.
It’s resulted in a stuttering start to their La Liga campaign that included a 2-2 draw with Villarreal, secured via a Gareth Bale brace before the Welshman was later sent off. This is all in spite of coach Zinedine Zidane publicly insisting Bale’s time in Madrid was over.
But despite their ongoing issues, there is hope that the return of their three-time Champions League winning manager could see them reclaim the title they relinquished to Liverpool last season having crashed out to eventual semi-finalists Ajax.
Under Zidane, Madrid despatched PSG en route to their most recent title in 2018 - thanks to three goals across two legs from Cristiano Ronaldo. The French side will be out for revenge.
With Galatasaray and Club Brugge the other sides drawn into Group A, PSG and Real are expected to qualify for the last 16 and vie for first and second place between them.
Who will come out in their first meeting?
The most successful club in European Cup history or the new money finally looking to make their mark on the continent. All eyes are on the Parc des Princes.
PSG v Real Madrid: Team news
PSG are missing their entire first-choice front three with Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe all missing for the visit of Real Madrid.
Cavani and Mbappe are both injured while Neymar, who scored an overhead kick winning goal at the weekend, is serving a ban for insulting match officials.
Ex-Stoke striker Eric Choupo-Moting is likely to fill in while loanee Mauro Icardi struggles for match fitness.
Real Madrid are also short-handed for the trip to Paris with a number of key first team players missing.
Marcelo's neck problem sustained aganst Levante sees the Brazilian join Luka Modric, Isco and Marco Asensio in the physio room. Defenders Nacho and Sergio Ramos are both suspended.
Eden Hazard is pushing for his first Real Madrid start after making his debut off the bench against Levante while Gareth Bale is available after missing the weekend's clash through suspension.
PSG v Real Madrid: The managers
PSG boss Tuchel: "Everybody knows we miss a few strikers but I trust the players I have for this game.
"[On Icardi’s fitness] "I don't know exactly how fit he is. I don't know how long he can play, maybe he should start or maybe Eric Choupo-Moting can start.”
[On recovering from last season] "Last year, we fell into a very strong group (with Liverpool and Napoli). It was a lot of pressure. It was a very long phase after the defeat against United, but it is necessary to forget and look forward.
"But this is the first game, not a decisive match. At the same time, it is a great opportunity to show you are capable of making a big team performance.
"This game will not decide everything. I want us to play our game, aggressively and play to win."
Real coach Zidane: "We expect a lot from PSG and from Real Madrid, but we're at the start [of the season] and we can do better.
"We have to improve and do it on all levels, and I think it's the same for PSG.
"I don't know [what PSG are missing], but I think that they're a team that are always improving; they're a big club but winning the Champions League is not easy."
[On Hazard’s fitness] "I think he's ready to play, he's had more training sessions now.
"You know that I've always thought that [Hazard can play a pivotal role for Madrid]; he's decisive, he can make the difference, and the fact that he's at Real Madrid shows that.
"I don't want to compare, but I think that he will be a very important player and his future will be formidable at Real Madrid.".
PSG v Real Madrid: Head-to-head
Real Madrid have got the better of the French side in their previous five meetings, with PSG's most recent win coming way back in the second leg of their 1992/93 UEFA Cup quarter-final second leg clash.
|06/03/18||Champions League||PSG 1-2 Real Madrid||Cavani; Ronaldo, Casemiro|
|14/02/18||Champions League||Real Madrid 3-1 PSG||Ronaldo (2), Marcelo; Rabiot|
|03/11/15||Champions League||Real Madrid 1-0 PSG||Nacho|
|21/10/15||Champions League||PSG 0-0 Real Madrid||None|
|18/03/93||Europa League||PSG 4-1 Real Madrid||Weah, Ginola, Valdo, Kombouare; Zamorano|
PSG v Real Madrid: Key Stats
- Real Madrid lost three games in the Champions League last season; more than in any single UCL campaign since 2012-13 (also three defeats). Two of these defeats came in the Group Stage; which was the most they’ve suffered at this stage of the competition in a single season since 2008-09 (also two).
- PSG are unbeaten in 21 successive Champions League home games at Parc des Princes in the Group Stages (W15 D6), not losing there in a Group Stage game since December 2004 versus CSKA Moscow (1-3).
- Paris Saint-Germain have been the top scoring team in the Champions League Group Stage in each of the last two seasons; scoring 25 goals in 2017-18 (an all-time Group Stage record) and 17 goals in 2018-19.
- In Champions League history, Real Madrid have averaged the most goals per game (2.13) and Paris Saint Germain have averaged the 3rd most (1.97), with Barcelona the only club separating them in the ranking (2.02).
- Real Madrid have scored in each of their last 28 Champions League games under Zinedine Zidane.
- Karim Benzema has been involved in nine goals in his last 10 Champions League appearances for Real Madrid (seven goals, two assists).
- Kylian Mbappe has scored 14 goals in the Champions League and will be aged 20 years and 272 days on the day of this match. The youngest player to 15 UCL goals is currently Lionel Messi, who scored his 15th goal in the competition aged 21y 289d.
- Kylian Mbappe could become only the second player to score in four different Champions League seasons while aged under 21 years of age. The only other player to do this is Karim Benzema (2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09).
PSG v Real Madrid: Odds
Real Madrid: 12/5
Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Bet365.