Real Madrid's European home record ominous but PSG have never lost a Champions League first leg last 16 tie

Matt Jones 13/02/2018
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Real Madrid host Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday in the glamour tie of the Champions League knockout stages.

Los Blancos may not be finding the imperious form they’ve enjoyed on the continent in recent seasons as they have struggled to cope with the Barcelona juggernaut – currently Zinedine Zidane’s side sit 17 points adrift of the La Liga pace-setting Blaugrana in fourth place.

In Europe though, it’s been a different story. They have won three of the last four tournaments, and they have embarked on a timely run of form leading up to this clash too, winning three of their last four league games, with Cristiano Ronaldo back among the goals.

Meanwhile, the Parisians are in pristine form coming into the first leg. Since a 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the final group game on December 5, PSG have won 14 of their last 15 games in all competitions.

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Here, we look at the key statistics and match facts ahead of Wednesday’s clash including Real’s resurgence in the last competition in the last decade.

  • The Spanish side have got to the semi-finals or better in each of the last seven seasons: winning three of the last four finals. They lost to Juve in the 2014/15, Borussia Dortmund in 2012/13, Bayern Munich in 2011/12 and Barcelona in 2010/11, exiting each time at the last four stage.
  • PSG knocked Real Madrid out of Europe two years in a row: in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup quarter-finals and 1993/94 European Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-finals. George Weah’s goal as PSG won the 93/94 first leg 1-0 against Vicente del Bosque’s Madrid is the Spanish side’s sole home defeat against a French club.
  • Real are looking to reach the quarter-finals for the eighth successive year. Their round of 16 record is W8 L6. Their streak is in stark contrast to the years prior to this as they lost at this stage for six years in a row between 2005 and 2010.
  • Madrid have won 33 of their last 39 Champions League home matches, losing just once – 4-3 to Schalke in the 2014/15 last 16 second leg. They have lost just two of their last 25 European fixtures, most recently the 3-1 defeat at Spurs on matchday four, winning 17 and drawing six.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo scored nine goals in the group stage – three more than any other player. It was a record-breaking haul for the Portuguese as he became the first player in Champions League history to score in every group game. He also had 21 shots on target and 18 shots off target, also competition highs.
  • The 2015/16 group stage games against PSG were Real’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 Lyon in the 2009/10 round of 16 first leg (1-2 aggregate). In those wins they scored 15 goals without reply.
  • Champions of Europe for a 12th time in 2016/17, Madrid aim to become the first team since Bayern Munich in 1976 to claim three successive European Cups (1973-76). Ajax (1971–73) and Madrid themselves (1956–60) are the only other sides to have won three or more in a row.
  • PSG have never lost the first leg of a round of 16 tie (W4 D1). Although beaten 3-1 by Munich on matchday six to prevent them winning all six of their Group B games, they nevertheless finished the group stages with 25 goals, setting a new Champions League record.

Statistics provided by UEFA

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Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini says he always knew Harry Kane would be a star

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Chielleni will face up to Harry Kane once again in the Champions League.

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini insists his thundering challenge welcoming Harry Kane to international football in 2015 was not deliberate but admits he knew even then he was up against a future star.

Kane was only two minutes into his full England debut during a friendly with Italy three years ago, when Chiellini made his introduction by crashing into his opposite number.

The pair will resume rivalries again at the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday as Spurs take on two-time European champions Juventus in the Champions League last 16.

Since that first meeting, Chiellini has established himself as one of the most dependable centre-halves in Europe while there is not one out-and-out striker more feared right now than Kane.

Chiellini claims there was nothing planned about his shuddering first impression on the then 24-year-old.

“I don’t actually remember it very well but in Turin he was certainly a great striker. I didn’t make that tackle on purpose!” Chiellini said with a smile.

“But in my opinion he was already then one of the best strikers. People had already talked about him a lot.

“This type of challenge for us as defenders give us an impetus to play football. These are the matches that we will keep in mind in the future.

“I know I judged him properly before because I considered him a great striker then and he has become a great international striker.”

Chiellini is at the heart of a four-man Juventus back-line that boasts the astonishing record of just one goal conceded in 16 matches.

But it is Kane, with eight goals in his last seven games and 36 in 37 overall this season, that was the talk of the Italian club’s pre-match press conference on Monday.

“Stopping one-on-one against Kane, just me alone, is pretty impossible,” Chiellini said.

The Italian insists that the tackle two years ago was not deliberate.

The Italian insists that the tackle two years ago was not deliberate.

Kane remembered well his match-up with Chiellini for England. He admitted getting past the 33-year-old and, more importantly, Gianluigi Buffon in goal promises to be one of the toughest tests of his career.

“He’s an amazing defender,” Kane said. “On my first start for England, in the first five minutes he made a challenge and I had a dead leg for about five minutes.

“It was a good welcome to international football. We know how good their defence is as a whole and obviously their goalkeeper as well.”

Toby Alderweireld will miss the match, having only recently recovered from a hamstring tear.

Alderweireld played 90 minutes against Newport in the FA Cup last week and declared after the match he felt “very good” but was not included in the squad against Arsenal on Saturday and did not join Monday’s travelling party to Italy either.

“He is 28 and it was a massive injury that we need to take care and be cautious with because we cannot put his career at risk,” Mauricio Pochettino said.

“To play this type of game you need to be 200 per cent. Competing is not the same as training and that’s why we are caring about him with our plan.”

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Can you name all of the Champions League winners since 1993?

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Real Madrid lift the Champions League trophy

As the Champions League makes its return on Tuesday evening, put your knowledge of the competition to the test with our special quiz.

Can you name all of the winners since the competition – formerly known as the European Cup – became the UEFA Champions League? 13 different clubs have got their hands on the trophy since 1993, but will you be able to get all of them?

Take a screenshot of your score and let us know how you got on via Twitter. If the quiz doesn’t load properly for you click here.

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