Ronaldo & Real Madrid finding form ahead of PSG clash
Real Madrid host Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League second round tie this Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
Zinedine Zidane’s side made a woeful start to their campaign which had them out of the La Liga title race before Christmas. They were also beaten by Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League group stage but progressed as runners-up.
Winning the Champions League for the third successive season may be the only thing that could keep the former Real Madrid star his job as manager. To do that they have a very tough test against the runaway French Ligue 1 leaders in the next round.
Real Madrid, and Cristiano Ronaldo in particular, have at least started to find their feet since their 0-1 loss at home to Villareall in mid-January. That was followed up with the 7-1 thrashing of Deportivo La Coruña in which the Portuguese superstar and Garth Bale each scored twice.
That was followed up with a 4-1 thrashing at surprise package Valencia. That has helped Real Madrid move to within one point of the team in third spot as they have a battle on just to qualify for next season’s Champions League group stage right now. Ronaldo scored a pair of penalties at the Mestalla.
However, they did concede a disappointingly late goal in their 2-2 draw at Levante last weekend, after Ronaldo had been substituted.
Real Madrid got back to their winning ways with a 5-2 thrashing at home to Real Sociedad. Ronaldo helped himself to a hat-trick in a game that Zidane’s side led 4-0 at half-time which also included Ronaldo and Karim Benzema hitting the inside of the post from six yards out.
The Spanish giants versus the impending French champions is highly-anticipated and expected to be a classic Champions League tie. Although Real Madrid are the soccer betting sites favourites to progress, many are thinking that Unai Emery’s side could progress from this tie.
Real Madrid have had problems in attack and defence at times this season – the likes of Neymar, Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappé and Ángel Di María certainly have the ability to tear the Spanish side’s defence wide open. Defensively, Paris Saint-Germain aren’t bad at all. So if Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale don’t have their A-game on over 180 minutes then the defending champions could be eliminated as early as the start of March.
The good news for the back-to-back winners is that going forward they have found form. Ronaldo has seven goals in his last four La Liga outings whilst Real Madrid themselves have scored 18 goals in total during that timeframe.
Exit from the Champions League at the second round would almost certainly be the end of Zinedine Zidane’s reign at the Santiago Bernabéu given their performances domestically this season to date.