Madrid and Paris seek Group A advantage

Having drawn a blank at the Parc des Princes last time out, Real Madrid CF and Paris Saint-Germain have another chance to take control of Group A as they reconvene in Spain.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (left) tries to get away from Marco Verratti in Paris
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (left) tries to get away from Marco Verratti in Paris ©AFP/Getty Images

Neither Real Madrid nor Paris Saint-Germain were able to find the breakthrough when the pair met in France on matchday three, so each have another chance to take the outright lead in Group A as they meet again at the Santiago Bernabéu.

• A goalless draw at the Parc des Princes in the sides' first competitive fixture for more than 20 years means both sides have seven points in the section, four more than third-placed Malmö FF. A win for either Paris or Madrid would take them into the round of 16 should the Swedish side fail to win at point-less FC Shakhtar Donetsk.

Previous meetings
• Paris knocked Madrid out of Europe two years in a row: in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup quarter-finals (1-3 a, 4-1 h), and in the 1993/94 European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals (1-0 a, 1-1 h).

• On 3 March 1994 George Weah scored in the first half to win the first leg for Artur Jorge's Paris against Vicente del Bosque's Madrid.

• The lineups at the Santiago Bernabéu were:
Madrid: Buyo, Chendo, Goicoechea, Alkorta, Sanchís (Morales 56), Ramis, Luis Enrique, Míchel, Zamorano (Muñoz 85), Milla, Dubovský (Prosinečki 88).
Paris: Lama, Sassus, Colleter, Raymundo, Roche, Llacer, Fournier, Guérin, Weah, Candido, Ginola.

Match Background

• The ten-time winners began their 20th group-stage campaign with a 4-0 home victory against Shakhtar before winning 2-0 at Malmö.

• Madrid have won all three group home games for the past two campaigns – scoring ten goals each time – but their 11-game winning home streak in the competition ended when they went down 4-3 at home to FC Schalke 04 in last season's round of 16 second leg.

• That defeat also curtailed the Blancos' ten-match winning sequence in the tournament, home and away. Moreover, it was their first defeat in 22 UEFA Champions League games at the Santiago Bernabéu, with 19 of those games won.

• Nevertheless they edged out Schalke 5-4 overall and, after a 1-0 home and aggregate win against Club Atlético de Madrid in the quarter-finals, advanced to a fifth successive semi-final where they lost to Juventus (1-2 away, 1-1 home).

• Before matchday three, Madrid had won their last three fixtures against French sides – all against Lyon – scoring nine goals without conceding.

• They have not lost in their last eight games with Ligue 1 opponents, winning five and drawing three. In those wins they scored 14 without reply.

• The French club, in their eighth group stage campaign, began with a 2-0 home win against Malmö and followed up with a 3-0 victory at Shakhtar.

• In last season's group stage Laurent Blanc's side experienced all three results on their travels. In the round of 16 a 2-2 draw at Chelsea FC secured an away-goals victory.

• Their run ended against FC Barcelona in the quarter-finals, losing 3-1 at home and 2-0 away.

• Paris' record in Spain is W4 D2 L5; overall against Spanish sides it is W10 D7 L8. Their last victory on Spanish soil came in the 2012/13 round of 16 when Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore struck in a 2-1 win at Valencia CF.

• After going out in the quarter-finals in each of the past three seasons, Paris are aiming for a second semi-final appearance having reached the last four in 1994/95. Their other last-eight appearance in Europe since reaching the second group stage of the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League also ended in defeat, against FC Dynamo Kyiv in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup.

Coach and player links
• Ángel Di María made 124 Liga appearances for Madrid between 2010 and 2015, scoring 22 goals, and was named man of the match as the Merengues lifted their tenth European title in 2014 with a 4-1 victory over neighbours Atlético.

• Karim Benzema scored in Madrid's 1-0 win over Paris in a Gothenburg friendly on 27 July 2013.

• Rafael Benítez coached Thiago Motta at FC Internazionale Milano in 2010.

• Have played together:
James Rodríguez and Layvin Kurzawa (AS Monaco FC 2013/14)
Serge Aurier & Raphaël Varane (RC Lens 2010/11)

• International team-mates:
Benzema, Varane & Matuidi, Kurzawa (France)
Danilo, Casemiro, Marcelo & David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Lucas Moura (Brazil)

• Motta also played for Barcelona until 2007 and then moved to Atlético.

• Ibrahimović scored Barcelona's winner in a 1-0 Camp Nou victory against Madrid in 2009.

• Marcelo scored an own goal for Luka Modrić and Mateo Kovačić's Croatia in the 2014 FIFA World Cup opening match which Brazil won 3-1. Thiago Silva and David Luiz also played for Brazil.

• Uruguay's Edinson Cavani scored a penalty in the 2014 World Cup past Keylor Navas but Costa Rica went on to win 3-1 in Fortaleza.

• James Rodríguez scored in Colombia's 2-1 win against Serge Aurier's Ivory Coast in the 2014 World Cup group stage. He scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Cavani's Uruguay in the round of 16 and converted a penalty in the 2-1 quarter-final defeat by Brazil, Thiago Silva and David Luiz both scoring for the home team who also included Marcelo.

• Toni Kroos scored twice as Germany beat a Brazil side including David Luiz and Marcelo 7-1 in the 2014 World Cup semi-final in Belo Horizonte.

• Sergio Ramos scored Spain's goal in a 1-1 Madrid draw against a France side including Matuidi and Benzema in a World Cup qualifier on 16 October 2012.

• Lucas scored Brazil's third goal in a 3-0 win against Matuidi and Benzema's France in a warm-up game ahead of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Porto Alegre. Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Marcelo also played for the home team.

• Blanc was in charge of Les Bleus when they lost 2-0 to Ramos' Spain in the UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-final. Benzema was in France's side and Matuidi was on the bench.

Match facts

• Madrid are 17 games (W11 D6) undefeated in all competitions. Their last loss was the 2-1 reverse at Juventus on 5 May in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg.

• The Whites have conceded just four goals in 13 games this season, though their run of five clean sheets ended with Hernán Santana's strike for UD Las Palmas on Saturday.

• Danilo scored his first goal for the club in the 3-1 victory over RC Celta de Vigo on 24 October.

• Daniel Carvajal has not played since sustaining an ankle injury against Atlético on 4 October.

• Pepe (muscular problem), James Rodríguez (thigh) and Gareth Bale (calf) are doubtful for the visit of Paris, though Pepe was an unused substitute on Saturday.

• David Luiz and Marco Verratti will incur a suspension with their next booking.

• The Ligue 1 leaders are unbeaten this season in all competitions, winning 13 and drawing three of their 16 fixtures.

• Kurzawa scored his first goal for Paris in the 4-1 defeat of AS St-Étienne on 25 October. It was his fourth in all competitions this term, having found the net for Monaco in both third qualifying round fixtures against BSC Young Boys and away to OGC Nice on 8 August.

• Ibrahimović became Paris' all-time top scorer with two penalties against Olympique de Marseille on 4 October, taking his tally for the club to 110 goals, one more than Pauleta. He added two more against SC Bastia (2-0, 17 October) and one versus St-Étienne.

• David Luiz sustained a knee injury in Brazil's 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Chile on 8 October and has missed Paris' last four games.

• Cavani has scored 17 goals in his last 18 Ligue 1 outings.

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