Madrid and Paris out to gain Group A edge

Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimović will go head-to-head again as Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, both unbeaten this season, attempt to forge ahead in Group A.

Real Madrid train ahead of their rematch with Paris
Real Madrid train ahead of their rematch with Paris ©AFP/Getty Images
  • Real Madrid and Paris unbeaten in all competitions this season
  • Rafael Benítez says Madrid have "considerable room for improvement"
  • Luka Modrić passed fit
  • The reverse fixture on 21 October ended 0-0
  • If either Paris or Madrid win, they are through should Malmö lose
  • All-time club top scorers Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimović go head-to-head

Possible lineup
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas; Danilo, Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modrić; Isco, Jesé, Ronaldo.
Out: Bale (hamstring), Carvajal (ankle), Benzema (hamstring), Arbeloa (foot)

Paris: Trapp; Aurier (Van der Wiel), David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Maxwell; Thiago Motta, Matuidi, Verratti; Di María, Ibrahimovic, Cavani.
Out: Pastore (conjunctivitis), Marquinhos (thigh)

Rafael Benítez, Madrid coach
The team are doing the things I wanted them to do. However, if I was completely satisfied I would be worried – there is still considerable room for improvement. We performed very well in Paris. Paris Saint-Germain are growing year by year and we know this is a very difficult fixture.

We have to focus to do well and get the three points to go through. Ronaldo and Ibrahimović are two great players. I know what Cristiano represents for us and I imagine it will be something similar with Ibrahimović and Paris Saint-Germain. Paris are certainly among the best teams in Europe.

©UEFA.com

Laurent Blanc, Paris coach
A 0-0 draw won't be enough. We respect our opponents but we are ambitious too and have come here to impose our game. We have the technical and physical resources – and we will need both aspects to do it.

This match will be very special for Di María. He spent a lot of time in Madrid and loves the club. I hope he doesn't feel the pressure.

French football has gone a long time without a top-level team. We've been building for a while now and we expect to reach the top level soon. We didn't play badly in Paris. We were good at the back but we need to make better decisions going forward. 

Isco takes the acclaim after scoring on Saturday
Isco takes the acclaim after scoring on Saturday©AFP/Getty Images

Weekend results
Real Madrid 3-1 Las Palmas (Isco 4, Ronaldo 14, Jesé 43; Hernán 38)
Undefeated Madrid made it three successive Liga wins with a regulation success. All the goals came in the first half, with Isco and Cristiano Ronaldo putting the hosts 2-0 up. Hernán Santana halved the deficit, but two minutes before the interval Jesé sealed the points for the Merengues.

Rennes 0-1 Paris (Di María 75)
Ángel Di María scored the only goal when he swept in a cutback from the marauding Lucas as Paris moved ten points clear at the Ligue 1 summit.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Madrid: WWDWDW
Paris: WWDWWW

©UEFA.com

Reporter's view: Joe Walker (@UEFAcomJoeW)
Benítez's men reign supreme at the Bernabéu in the UEFA Champions League and will look to displace Paris, with whom they are tied on seven points, at the top of Group A. Victory over the French outfit will go a long way towards sealing pole position and, knowing three points could potentially secure a knockout berth with two matchdays to go, the Merengues will be up for this game.

Did you know?
Di María made 124 Liga appearances for Madrid between 2010 and 2015, registering 22 goals, and was named man of the match as the Blancos lifted their tenth European title in 2014 with a 4-1 victory against neighbours Atlético; find out more in our extensive match background.  

As he prepares to return to the Bernabéu for the first time, Ángel Di María recalls his role in La Décima
As he prepares to return to the Bernabéu for the first time, Ángel Di María recalls his role in La Décima

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