Bet Builder tips: Neymar’s the key in our 21/1 punt for Real Madrid v PSG

Paddy's footie tipster Shane O'Brien expects the Brazilian to get on the scoresheet at the Bernabeu.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

PSG head to the Bernabeu on Wednesday night looking to preserve their 1-0 lead in this blockbuster tie against Real Madrid.

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The star of the first leg at the Parc des Princes, Kylian Mbappé, is an injury doubt for Wednesday’s return clash after picking an injury in training on Monday, while Casemiro and Ferland Mendy are ruled out for Madrid through suspension. Here’s your Champions League Bet Builder.

Real Madrid v Paris Saint Germain, Wednesday 9 March (8pm)
BT Sport 3

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The Draw

Kylian Mbappe’s brilliant last-minute winner last time out would have meant a lot more in the era of away goals, leaving PSG in an incredibly strong position to pick Real Madrid off on the counterattack at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night. All things considered, Mbappe’s late winner was the least that PSG deserved three weeks ago, and they head to Madrid in a strong position, away goals or no away goals.

However, their form has dipped considerably since the first leg, with the French champions-elect losing twice in their last three league games. They are also likely to be without Mbappe, who suffered a knock in training and is a major doubt for Wednesday night. Their only win in that three-game spell came against a Saint-Etienne side currently sitting fourth from bottom in Ligue 1 and even then, they had to come from behind.

Whether their poor league form has been borne out of complacency is hard to tell, but it is less than ideal form to be in ahead of a finely balanced Champions League knockout game. Real Madrid, on the other hand, have won three games on the bounce since that defeat in Paris, strengthening their place at the top of La Liga.

They look almost certain to win a second La Liga in three years, but their Champions League bid may fall just short on Wednesday night. Despite their poor recent form, PSG seem to have Real Madrid’s number and should have just enough to avoid defeat.

Both teams to score

Real Madrid never looked like scoring in Paris in a game that they clearly set out to draw, but they are not likely to be so negative in front of their own fans. They should feel a lot more comfortable throwing off the shackles and going for the game and should at least be more adventurous than they were in Paris, when they essentially played for a scoreless draw, placing 11 men behind the ball on several occasions.

If only there was some sort of initiative to prevent such negative tactics. Carlo Ancelotti’s side have failed to score in just two home games all season and face a PSG side that has failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last nine away games in the league and Champions League, in a run stretching back to October.

However, they have also scored in every Champions League game they have played this season and showed three weeks ago that they are capable of running the Real Madrid defence ragged.

LionelMessiPSGOct21

    Lionel Messi to have two or more shots on target

    His penalty miss aside, Lionel Messi had a very good game in the Parc des Princes three weeks ago. The Argentine pulled the strings throughout and created several gilt-edged chances for the likes of Neymar and Mbappe, while his work ethic noticeably increased following that missed penalty.

    Messi finished the game in Paris with two efforts on target and he is likely to record a similar number on Wednesday night. Messi averages just under two shots on target per game in the Champions League this season and judging by his performance after the penalty miss, he is likely to pepper Thibaut Courtois’s goal with shots in a bid to atone for his first-leg error.

    Neymar anytime goalscorer

    Neymar’s introduction changed the first leg at a time when PSG were beginning to run out of ideas. That 17-minute cameo was Neymar’s first appearance in three months and his return from injury couldn’t have been more timely given that Mbappe is likely to miss out on Wednesday.

    Neymar has scored once since his return from injury, pulling one back in PSG’s shock 3-1 defeat to Nantes at the end of February. He boasts a modest record of three goals in 11 career appearances against Real Madrid, while he has also registered an impressive six assists.

    In the absence of Mbappe, PSG will need Neymar and Messi to step up to the plate against their old foe.

    Real Madrid vs PSG Bet Builder tips:

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