Carlo Ancelotti: ‘We’re not playing this game by ourselves, the whole of madridismo is behind us’
Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the club’s official media ahead of the Champions League round of 16 second leg.
Real Madrid vs PSG: Line-ups
Real Madrid Backed to Succeed
Real Madrid’s European pedigree is not up for debate, though, and Ancelotti’s side have at least responded to that setback in ideal fashion by securing three La Liga wins on the bounce, including a 4-1 success over Real Sociedad on Saturday after going a goal down inside the opening 10 minutes.
However, recent history is not on the hosts’ side this week, with Real Madrid being sent packing in the last-16 twice in the last three editions of the Champions League and only progressing from one of their last 10 knockout battles when losing the first leg.
Ancelotti’s side are certainly welcoming PSG to the Bernabeu at a good time, with Los Blancos embarking on a 13-game unbeaten run on home soil since defeat to Sheriff Tiraspol back in September, and Les Parisiens’ did not prepare for the second leg in ideal fashion.
It would still take a collapse of monumental proportions for PSG to lose their grip on the Ligue 1 title, but a few lowly performances on the road have done Pochettino no favours ahead of the second leg, with neither the Bernabeu pitch nor the Bernabeu faithful particularly welcoming. PSG suffered three consecutive last-16 exits between 2017 and 2019 and won the first leg by at least two goals on two of those occasions, so Les Parisiens will be fully aware that the tie is not dead and buried just yet, especially with Pochettino failing to win any of his last four away games in the Champions League.
Furthermore, a wholly inconsistent PSG have only prevailed in four of their last 10 away matches in all competitions – two of which came against lower-league opposition in the Coupe de France – and Los Blancos are unbeaten in their last three homes games versus the French giants ahead of what promises to be a truly fascinating spectacle.
With Mbappe fresh and raring to go, PSG can certainly carve their way through an unfamiliar Real Madrid midfield, and attack may be the best form of defence for the visitors as they attempt to build on their slender advantage. However, Ancelotti’s men are enduring a golden spell at their headquarters while PSG are flattering to deceive on their travels, so we are backing the Benzema and Vinicius-inspired Blancos to turn the tie on its head and crush Les Parisiens’ Champions League dreams for yet another year.