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Sep 18, 2019 at 8pm UK
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Di Maria (14', 33'), Meunier (91')
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Combined XI: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Real Madrid

:Headline: Combined XI: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Real Madrid:
Ahead of Wednesday's Champions League showdown between Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from the two squads.
By | 27d

Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid meet in the Champions League on Wednesday, providing perhaps the most enticing match of the opening week of the group stage.

This is a repeat of the 2018 round-of-16 tie, when the Spanish side eased comfortably through on aggregate following a 2-1 second leg win in Paris.

PSG have been eliminated at the first time of asking in the knockout stages in each of the last three seasons, while Zinedine Zidane's squad fell well short of adding to the club's 13 titles last season, crashing out against Ajax.

With Galatasaray and Club Brugge making up the rest of the group, both sides will be confident of progressing irrespective of the result in their first test.

Here, Sports Mole has selected its strongest combined XI from the two squads, using only players available on Wednesday.




PSG keeper Keylor Navas moved to the Parc des Princes from Madrid in the summer, and while the Costa Rica regular would be an excellent choice between the sticks, the pedigree of Thibaut Courtois, the Belgium and former Chelsea shot-stopper he left behind, would probably prevail were most critics given the choice.

The hosts also have ample quality in defence, including 34-year-old Brazil favourite Thiago Silva at centre-back, but Madrid's redoubtable contingent makes up three-quarters of the backline.

Among a series of absentees for their trip to Paris, Madrid's freshest concern is left-back Marcelo, whose neck injury would provide an opportunity in a combined XI for Layvin Kurzawa, who has the distinction of being the first defender in the modern-day Champions League to have scored a hat-trick in the competition.

Casemiro, who clinched the win on the night for his side when they visited Paris last year, provides defensive steel in midfield, supported by combative Germany regular Toni Kroos.

That means PSG pair Pablo Sarabia and Angel Di Maria have the creative freedom to push forward, although it would be remiss not to mention that Eden Hazard and Luka Modric would take their places were they not missing through injury for this match.

Injuries also shape the look of the attack, which is missing Neymar through suspension for a number of unwise comments about the standard of refereeing, as well as the rehabilitating Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.

With 60 Champions League goals in his career so far, Karim Benzema is the fourth-highest all-time scorer in the competition, ahead of the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Thierry Henry and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is a somewhat less experienced forward and is yet to score in Europe for PSG, but the former Stoke City striker has scored three times in two appearances this season while Neymar has been out of action.

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool88002061424
2Manchester CityMan City85122791816
3Arsenal84311311215
4Leicester CityLeicester8422147714
5Chelsea84221814414
6Crystal Palace842288014
7Burnley8332119212
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham83321111012
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs83231412211
10Bournemouth83231313011
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves82421111010
12Manchester UnitedMan Utd82339819
13Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd82337709
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8233810-29
15Aston Villa8224131218
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle8224513-88
17Southampton8215815-77
18Everton8215613-77
19Norwich CityNorwich82061021-116
20Watford8035420-163
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