Real Madrid to face PSG in Champions League group stage
Following yesterday’s Champions League group stage draw in Monaco Spanish giants Real Madrid will face Paris Saint Germain, Club Brugge, and Galatasaray S.K.
Having been accustomed to being seeded in Pot A after successive back to back Champions League wins, Real Madrid found themselves relegated to Pot B for yesterday’s draw following a disappointing season.
Due to no longer being in Pot A it was a forgone conclusion that Los Blancos would get drawn against one of Europe’s bigger clubs.
As it turned out the football gods were looking out for Madrid putting them in a group where they are almost certain to win or at least finish second.
Finishing first or second would guarantee them a place in the knockout stages.
Paris Saint Germain
Given the on-going negotiations for Neymar and the fact it almost looks certain that goalkeeper Keylor Navas will be moving to the Parc des Prince, this matchup should prove to be quite interesting.
The last time the two clubs met was during the 2017/18 season in the last 16 of the Champions League. Real Madrid emerged victorious winning both at home and away.
PSG’s attacking capabilities are well known with the Qatari backed club relying on Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Neymar Junior for goals.
A vital away goal for Zinedine Zidane’s men could prove pivotal in this tie for Madrid to finish top of the group and face lesser completion in the knockout stage of the competition.
Real Madrid has only ever played the Belgian Jupiler Pro League side once before, back during the 1967/77 season in the European Cup, winning away 0-2 and then drawing 0-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Club Brugge has qualified for the Champions League three out of the past four seasons and is looking to improve on their past performances in the competition.
Midfielder Hans Vanakan is the man to watch with everything Brugge do revolving around the 27-year-old. Expect Brugge to sit deep when playing Real Madrid while hoping to catch Los Blancos out with their lighting fast counter strikes.
Realistically given the clubs size and their inability to hold on to players that show talent, this two-legged affair should be a walk in the park for Zinedine Zidane’s side.
Turkish giants Galatasaray always put in a strong performance in the Champions League and have enormous support at the Türk Telekom Stadium.
Istanbul based Galatasaray retained their Turkish Super Lig title while also winning the Super Cup and are now eager to prove themselves on a bigger stage.
Having beaten Real Madrid in the past the Turks will fancy their chances to get a result at home in front of their fanatical fans who plaster the stadium with Red and Orange and sing to their heart’s content.
While not possessing the talent of PSG, Galatasaray is a strong unit that will not be afraid to take the fight to Madrid and could prove to be a bit of a dark horse if not given the respect they deserve.
The man to watch for the Turks is Dutch international Ryan Babel who despite now being 32-years-old still has the legs of a youngster
Having now played for nine clubs Babel is a seasoned veteran who is not afraid to go for goal if given the room.
The away game in Istanbul will be exciting to watch and while Madrid has the slight edge you can never right Galatasaray off in front of their home crowd.