Real Madrid v PSG: Back Pochettino's visitors to get the job done

James Eastham believes the Ligue 1 outfit are a decent value bet in the Champions League Last 16 second leg on Wednesday night...

Casemiro out, Hakimi returns

Casemiro is suspended. Federico Valverde is expected to deputise. Another member of Real Madrid's ideal midfield trio, Toni Kroos, is an injury doubt. A late decision will be taken on his participation. Should the Germany international be ruled out, France teenager Eduardo Camavinga will start.

Kylian Mbappe suffered a foot injury in training on Monday morning. Latest reports suggest the France international will be fit to start the game, however. Achraf Hakimi is also expected to start after missing PSG's last two league games.

PSG worthy of a bet

Ahead of the first leg in Paris three weeks ago, we backed Real Madrid to avoid defeat. And we came within a few seconds of collecting our winnings, only for Mbappe to conjure up a late, magical winner.

In truth, PSG were good value for their victory. They produced an organised, committed and coherent performance, putting under pressure for much of the match a Real Madrid side that - perhaps influenced by the abolition of the away goals rule - were more defensive-minded than normal.

This time, we're happy to back Paris to avoid defeat. They have a 1-0 lead from that first leg and head into the return fixture with confidence. Playing away from home might suit them even more, too.

In the first leg, Mauricio Pochettino's side had little room to get in behind the Real defence. But Real will need to attack at some point this time: they have to score at least once, or they're out of the competition. This necessary approach will, at some stage, grant Paris a clear sight of the Real goal.

Any space to attack in behind will suit Mbappe - presuming the France striker is fit to play - down to the ground. He's been in majestic form in all competitions this season (24 goals in 34 appearances for his club).

The 23-year-old is 2.3 in the To Score market.

Messi still an elite provider

It will also suit Lionel Messi as he takes on his former nemesis. Some of the criticism the Argentina superstar has faced since moving to the French capital is valid, but it's also true that - perhaps understandably - the 34-year-old is being held to higher standards than other players would be.

For all the talk of his demise, Messi is joint-top - alongside Mbappe - of the Ligue 1 assists chart, with 10. That achievement is all the more impressive given Messi has spent far fewer minutes (1,343) on the pitch than his rivals in this particular category.

With Messi still an elite provider of chances, he'll relish the gaps that are likely to appear if and when Real go chasing the game. Look out for the slide-rule passes into Mbappe's path that are becoming a hallmark of his PSG play.

Real Madrid are 2.54 to win on the night, with PSG 2.84 and The Draw 3.85. Those odds throw up the opportunity to support PSG on the Draw No Bet market.

This is our selection, at 2.1. With this pick, you'll get your stakes back if the game ends in a stalemate, and make a profit if PSG win.

Go low on the Goal Lines

Our second selection on the night is to back low goals. The market's clearly expecting a goals-fest: Over 2.5 Goals is 1.65, with Over 3.5 Goals 2.6.

While there's plenty of attacking talent on the pitch, there's no reason to expect an open contest from the start, or a goal-laden encounter overall.

Real have to score but will be wary of conceding a second goal in the tie. And PSG will look to wear down Real's confidence by shutting out the hosts for as long as possible.

On the Goal Lines market, Under 3.0 is available at a shade under evens (1.95). We're happy to take this option. With this selection, you'll make a profit if the game has two goals or fewer, and get your stakes back if the game has three goals exactly.

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