• Paris Saint Germain meets with Real Madrid on Tuesday.
  • Sporting is hosting Manchester City in Lisbon.

The knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League is on, and we are here to present the opening two legs. The big derby awaits us in Paris, where PSG awaits Real Madrid.

Meanwhile, a few thousand miles to the West, Sporting Lisbon will host the English Premier League champions, Manchester City.

PSG vs. Real Madrid Preview

The Saints barely defeated Rennes this Friday evening, and they didn’t look at all like the team that humiliated Lilles (the French champions) a week ago. One goal made the difference, and that sole hit in this event was in the stoppage time, when Mbappe finally broke the rival’s lock.

This was the fourth win of the Saints in the previous five events, and that one failure was against Nice in the domestic cup, after penalties. The problem for Pochettino is the fact that Messi and Mbappe aren’t working well right now. Some believe that the two are deliberately playing with 50% of their power now, but others think that there is some sort of a dispute between them.

Meanwhile, Real has problems because of Karim Benzema’s injury. The French start is out, and so far, he has scored 24 goals in 28 games. Los Blancos don’t have anyone capable of replacing the veteran, and we’ve seen them helpless in the past few contests. For your information, Real won only one in four games.

That forces us to think that Carlo Ancelotti will probably use some sort of ultra-defensive tactics on Tuesday night. He can’t afford to concede more than one goal her, otherwise, the Parisians are a step away from the next stage. PSG, too, won’t attack with full power. That is, Pochettino won’t. Because of all this, our main pick here is under 2.5 goals.

Pick: Under 2.5 goals

Sporting Lisbon vs. Manchester City

The Citizens head to Portugal, and even though they have several players from this country, they won’t have any sentiment for Sporting. Pep Guardiola’s unit has one thing on its mind: taking care of the business already in the first leg.

City is without a loss in the past 12 events, and in the latest 10 they have nine wins, which is only proof of their excellent form. They routinely handled Norwich this Saturday, 0-4, making a good warm-up before this event. On the other side, Sporting had a ferocious challenge against Porto on the road, in the game that saw four red cards, numerous unsportsmanlike tackles, and a bunch of punches and kicks.

Eventually, they managed to keep one point, getting out a 2-2 draw. This event was the eighth in the past 10 with over 2.5 goals, and one fewer saw both teams netting. The Lions’ attack is very potent, but the offense isn’t anywhere near that level.

That is why we expect to see City confident in Portugal and winning this one without any particular problems. The odds are not high, but for sure, the risk is minimal.

Pick: City wins