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Real Madrid - PSG, UEFA Champions League 15/16: Match preview

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Decisive game for Real Madrid in the group stage.

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

After getting seven out of the first nine points at stake in the UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain will face each other tomorrow in a game that will be decisive to determine the group champion. Los Blancos, who managed to get a tie out of the Parc des Princes a few weeks ago, are slightly favorites to win tomorrow as they arrive in a better shape with the recent recoveries of Pepe, Ramos and James Rodríguez, but they will undoubtedly have to work really hard to get a good result.

Despite the importance of the game, Rafa Benítez will not take any unnecessary risks, which is why Karim Benzema has been left out of the squad list. James has made it into the squad list but it would be a huge surprise to see him in tomorrow's starting lineup. Navas and Sergio Ramos will most likely start, and the spectacular state of Casemiro makes him the natural candidate to accompany Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in the midfield. Cristiano Ronaldo and Jesé Rodríguez are easy bets for the attack, and therefore the natural question is who Benítez will choose for the remaining spot among Isco, Lucas Vázquez and Mateo Kovacic.

In the other side, we must expect some tactical innovation in Laurent Blanc, who confessed in today's press conference that he feels that Real Madrid was the superior side in Paris but that he believes that tomorrow's game will be different. Ángel Di María will probably start against his former teammates, and so might David Luiz, who has taken part in today's training session with his partners, with the clear intention to increase the intensity of PSG's defensive line.

As Benítez said earlier today, the best for Real Madrid is yet to come, and it is good that Los Blancos are getting good results so far even without having reached their best condition, but they will need to perform at a very high level in order to stop such a talented team as PSG and break their defence. The Bernabéu awaits for the first big night of the season.

Match information

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Projected lineups

Real Madrid: Navas; Danilo, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Isco; Jesé, Ronaldo.

PSG: Trapp; Aurier, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Maxwell; Motta, Verratti, Matuidi; Cavani, Di María, Ibrahimovic.