Group A opens with a heavyweight contest as Paris Saint-Germain welcome Real Madrid to the Parc des Princes.
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Group A opens with a heavyweight contest as Paris Saint-Germain welcome Real Madrid to the Parc des Princes.
• Both sides have been regulars in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds in recent seasons, although each suffered last-16 disappointment in 2018/19, both bowing out unexpectedly on home soil after an away first-leg win.
• Four of the teams' previous eight matches have ended in a Real Madrid win – including the last three – while Paris have two victories. Madrid have scored 11 goals in those eight fixtures, two more than their French opponents.
• The teams last crossed paths in the round of 16 of Madrid's victorious 2017/18 UEFA Champions League campaign, the Spanish giants winning 3-1 in Spain with Marcelo on the scoresheet and 2-1 in Paris, Edinson Cavani scoring for the home side and Casemiro finding the net for Madrid.
• Madrid's 2015/16 UEFA Champions League triumph had also featured a win against Paris, a 1-0 group stage victory at the Santiago Bernabéu in which Nacho got the only goal. The game at the Parc des Princes had finished goalless.
• Paris's home record against Madrid is W1 D2 L1; home and away, they are without a victory in five matches (D2 L3), since George Weah scored the only goal at the Bernabéu in their UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final first leg in March 1994.
• Ligue 1 champions for the sixth time in seven years in 2018/19, and eighth time overall, this is the French side's eighth successive UEFA Champions League campaign.
• Semi-finalists in 1995, Paris have been knocked out in the round of 16 in the last three seasons – having been eliminated in the quarter-finals in the four previous campaigns.
• In 2018/19, Paris finished first in a section including eventual champions Liverpool, Napoli and Crvena zvezda, and looked set to reach the quarter-finals after a 2-0 first-leg victory at Manchester United in the round of 16, only to bow out on away goals following a 3-1 home defeat.
• The second-leg defeat against United was only the Parisian club's third reverse in their last 51 European home games since crashing 4-2 to Hapoel Tel-Aviv in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage (W32 D16) – they went down 3-1 to Barcelona in the 2014/15 quarter-finals and 2-1 against Real Madrid in the 2017/18 round of 16 second leg.
• Paris have not kept a clean sheet in six UEFA Champions League home games.
• Paris have won only four of their last 11 UEFA Champions League matches (D2 L5), although they have scored in 24 consecutive games in the competition.
• The 2018 defeat by Madrid was Paris's third in 15 matches against Spanish visitors, and second in their last four at the Parc des Princes.
• Paris's home record against Spanish visitors reads W7 D5 L3; overall it is W11 D7 L12. They have won just one of the last nine such encounters, home and away.
• Third in Spain in 2018/19, this is Madrid's 24th UEFA Champions League campaign – a joint record along with Barcelona. They have qualified for the knockout rounds in all of their 23 seasons, also a competition best.
• Last season Madrid finished first in their section ahead of Roma, Viktoria Plzeň and CSKA Moskva, picking up 12 points from their six matches. They lost both games against CSKA, including a 3-0 reverse at the Santiago Bernabéu on matchday six.
• A team then coached by Santiago Solari won 2-1 at Ajax in the round of 16 first leg, but then suffered a remarkable 4-1 home loss to bow out 5-3 on aggregate – the second leg was Madrid's joint heaviest home European defeat, along with that CSKA reverse.
• Last season was the first since 2009/10 that Madrid had failed to reach the semi-finals or better. This is the 13-time champions' 50th European Cup campaign, more than any other side.
• Madrid have still lost only seven of their last 41 European matches, home and away, winning 27.
• Madrid won three of their four European away matches last season and have triumphed in 14 of their last 22, losing just four.
• Madrid are unbeaten in their last 11 matches with French clubs (W8 D3), going back to a 1-0 loss at Lyon in the 2009/10 round of 16 first leg (1-2 aggregate).
• The Merengues have conceded only two goals in their last seven games against French sides; they scored 15 goals themselves in that period (W6 D1).
• Madrid's record away to Ligue 1 clubs is W6 D3 L6.
Links and trivia
• Madrid coach Zinédine Zidane faced Paris four times as a player for Bordeaux and Juventus (W2 D1 L1).
• Thomas Tuchel was Borussia Dortmund coach for their 2-2 draws home and away against Madrid in the 2016/17 group stage.
• Keylor Navas was in goal for Real Madrid's three successive UEFA Champions League victories between 2016 and 2018; he made 162 appearances for the Merengues between 2014 and joining Paris this summer, winning the Liga title in 2016/17, two UEFA Super Cups (2014, 2017) and four FIFA Club World Cups (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018).
• Alphonse Areola made 75 Ligue 1 appearances for Paris between 2013 and 2019, before joining Madrid on loan this summer. He played in both legs of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie, and won three Ligue 1 titles, two French Cups and two French League Cups. He spent 2015/16 on loan at Villarreal, making 32 Liga appearances including a 1-0 home win against Madrid on 13 December 2015.
• 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 Madrid.
• Pablo Sarabia was a Real Madrid youth and B team player between 2004 and 2011, making his only first-team appearance as a second-half substitute in a 4-0 UEFA Champions League group win against Auxerre in December 2010.
• Ferland Mendy was a youth player at Paris between 2004 and 2012.
• James Rodríguez scored Porto's winner in a 1-0 defeat of Paris in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Julian Draxler's Wolfsburg beat Madrid 2-0 in the first leg of the 2015/16 quarter finals; he was also in the side that succumbed to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick in a 3-0 second-leg turnaround in Spain.
• Raphaël Varane's fifth game in the Lens first team was a Coupe de France tie at Paris in January 2011; his side lost 5-1. Varane did help Lens to a 0-0 Ligue 1 draw at the Parc des Princes the following month.
• Karim Benzema faced Paris seven times during his time in France with Lyon (W4 D2 L1). He was part of the Lyon team that beat Paris 1-0 in the Coupe de France final in May 2008.
• Marcelo scored Madrid's goal in a 3-1 defeat by Paris in an Ohio friendly in 2016.
• International team-mates:
Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Neymar & Éder Militão, Casemiro, Marcelo (Brazil)
Layvin Kurzawa, Presnel Kimpembe, Kylian Mbappé & Ferland Mendy, Alphonse Areola, Raphaël Varane (France)
Julian Draxler, Thilo Kehrer & Toni Kroos (Germany)
Sergio Rico, Juan Bernat, Pablo Sarabia, Ander Herrera & Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Marco Asensio, Isco, Lucas Vázquez (Spain)
Thomas Meunier & Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard (Belgium)
Edinson Cavani & Federico Valverde (Uruguay)
• Have also played in France:
Karim Benzema (Lyon 2005–09)
Raphaël Varane (Lens 2010/11)
Ferland Mendy (Le Havre 2015–17, Lyon 2017–19)
James Rodríguez (Monaco 2013/14)
Mariano Díaz (Lyon 2017/18)
Eden Hazard (LOSC Lille 2005–12)
• Have also played in Spain:
Neymar (Barcelona 2013–17)
Juan Bernat (Valencia 2011–14)
Pablo Sarabia (Getafe 2011–16, Sevilla 2016–19)
Ander Herrera (Real Zaragoza 2008–11, Athletic Club 2011–14)
• Mauro Icardi played in Spain for Sarratea, Vecindario and Barcelona at youth level.
• Have played together:
Juan Bernat & James Rodríguez (Bayern München 2017/18)
• A Germany team including Kroos and Draxler drew 2-2 against France, who fielded Mbappé, Varane and substitute Kurzawa, in a friendly on 14 November 2017.
• Mbappé was in the France team beaten 2-0 by Spain in a home friendly on 28 March 2017; Ramos, Carvajal, Isco and Nacho featured for the visitors.
• Summer transfers
In: Idrissa Gueye (Everton), Pablo Sarabia (Sevilla), Ander Herrera (Manchester United), Marcin Bulka (Chelsea), Mitchel Bakker (Ajax), Abdou Diallo (Dortmund), Sergio Rico (Sevilla, loan), Keylor Navas (Real Madrid), Mauro Icardi (Internazionale, loan)
Out: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Moussa Diaby (Leverkusen), Dani Alves (São Paulo), Timothy Weah (LOSC Lille), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Lokomotiv Moskva, loan made permanent), Éric Ebimbe (Le Havre, loan), Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig), Giovani Lo Celso (Betis, loan made permanent), Virgiliu Postolachi (LOSC Lille), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt), Romaric Yapi (Brighton), Rémy Descamps (Charleroi), Arthur Zagre (Monaco), Stanley Nsoki (Nice), Alphonse Areola (Real Madrid, loan), Jesé Rodríguez (Sporting CP, loan)
• Ángel Di María's next appearance in UEFA club competition will be his 100th.
• Julian Draxler has played in 49 matches in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final.
• Paris won the French Super Cup on 3 August, defeating French Cup winners Rennes 2-1 thanks to goals from Kylian Mbappé and Di María. It was Paris's ninth win in the competition and their seventh in a row, a new record.
• Rennes, who beat Paris on penalties in last season's French Cup final, defeated them again on 18 August in Brittany in Ligue 1, winning 2-1. That was the second defeat in three league games for the French champions, who ended 2018/19 with a 3-1 loss, this time at Reims.
• Paris have won their other four league games this season, scoring ten goals without conceding. They were 1-0 winners against Strasbourg at the Parc des Princes on Saturday.
• Neymar, who was suspended for the first three Ligue 1 games, made his first appearance for Paris this season against Strasbourg, scoring the only goal two minutes into added time. He sustained a right foot injury at the Copa América, but did play and score for Brazil on 6 September against Colombia in Miami, also providing an assist in a 2-2 draw.
• Neymar has scored 35 goals in 38 Ligue 1 appearances for Paris, who have never lost a league game in which the Brazilian has found the net (W23 D3).
• Mbappé (left hamstring), Edinson Cavani (hip), Ander Herrera (left calf), Draxler and Thilo Kehrer (both foot) all picked up injuries before the international break. Herrera, a second-half substitute, was the only one of the five to feature on Saturday.
• Summer transfers
In: Éder Militão (Porto), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Ferland Mendy (Lyon), Luka Jović (Eintracht), Alphonse Areola (Paris, loan)
Out: Dani Ceballos (Arsenal, loan), Mateo Kovačić (Chelsea), Marcos Llorente (Atlético Madrid), Raúl de Tomás (Benfica), Sergio Reguilón (Sevilla, loan), Martin Ødegaard (Real Sociedad, loan), Theo Hernández (AC Milan), Luca Zidane (Racing, loan), Jesús Vallejo (Wolverhampton, loan), Javi Sánchez (Real Valladolid, loan), Borja Mayoral (Levante, loan), Andriy Lunin (Valladolid, loan), Takefusa Kubo (Mallorca, loan), Keylor Navas (Paris)
• Madrid have won two of their first four league games this season (D2), most recently at home to Levante on Saturday. Goals from Karim Benzema (25, 31) and Casemiro (40) gave the home side a 3-0 lead, but Madrid were left hanging on after a second-half Levante fightback, eventually prevailing 3-2.
• Benzema now has four goals in four Liga games this season.
• New signing Eden Hazard made his Madrid debut as a 60th-minute substitute after recovering from a thigh problem.
• The Merengues were 3-1 winners at Celta Vigo on the opening day of the Liga campaign, their only victory in their last seven away league matches (D3 L3).
• Gareth Bale has scored twice in the opening four Liga games of the season, both in a 2-2 draw at Villarreal on 1 September in which he was also sent off, and was also on target with a late winner in Wales' 2-1 UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying victory against Azerbaijan on 6 September.
• Isco (hamstring) and Brahim Díaz (thigh) are carrying injuries; James Rodriguez recovered from a calf problem to play 90 minutes against Levante.
• Marco Asensio is a long-term absentee having ruptured knee ligaments in a pre-season friendly against Arsenal on 24 July.
• Sergio Ramos scored in Spain's 2-1 UEFA EURO 2020 win against Romania on 5 September, and has eight goals in his last ten international appearances.
• Luka Modrić was on target with a penalty in Croatia's 1-1 draw in Azerbaijan on 9 September – as was Toni Kroos in Germany’s 4-2 defeat by the Netherlands three days later – while Casemiro found the net the same day as Brazil drew 2-2 in a friendly with Colombia.