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Real Madrid host PSG as Round 16 action continues

The Spanish giants have won just three out of their last five games, which included a second-leg away defeat to Leganes to be knocked out of the Copa Del Rey at the quarterfinal stage.

Picture: www.bestworldevents.com.

JOHANNESBURG - Real Madrid will be hoping to put their disappointing league form aside as they welcome Paris-Saint Germain at the Santiago Bernabeu in what is being widely considered as the fixture of the round.

The Spanish giants have won just three out of their last five games, which included a second-leg away defeat to Leganes to be knocked out of the Copa Del Rey at the quarterfinal stage.

In their last league game, Madrid beat Real Sociedad 5-2 with five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a hattrick.

Over in La Liga, the five-time winners are 17 points behind leaders, and rivals, Barcelona and a further 10 points behind second-placed Atletico Madrid.

Falling so far behind the log leaders has put immense pressure on Real Madrid Coach Zinedine Zidane, who will need a positive result from his team if he is to avoid facing the sack before the end of the season.

There is only one enforced absentee from the Real Madrid squad.

Dani Carvajal is suspended after deliberately getting booked against Apoel in the previous round.

Carvajal was shown a red card in the 90th minute in the penultimate game of the last round which would mean he would be available for the round of 16 fixtures without risk of suspension.

However, Uefa’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body felt the Carvajal’s actions breached Article 15 (unsporting conduct) of Uefa’s regulations.

Carvajal did not play in Madrid’s final game against Borussia Dortmund.

Uefa determined that the Spaniard face his suspension against PSG.

PSG, however, have not lost a game since 5 December, losing to Bayern Munich 3-1 on matchday six.

Les Parisiens sit comfortably at the summit of Ligue 1, 12 points ahead of rivals AS Monaco.

Record signing Neymar Jr has scored 18 league goals this season so far and will be hoping to add to his tally of goals.

Whether it is from the penalty spot or not, Edinson Cavani will decide.

The Uruguayan national did not feature against Toulouse over the weekend due to a hip injury but has been included in the squad to travel to Spain.

PSG vice-captain Thiago Motta has also been excluded from the travelling squad as he recovers from injury.

The 35-year-old missed the last eight games for his club. He is joined on the injured list by Hatem Ben Arfa, Sébastien Cibois and Christopher Nkunku.

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