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Optimism reigns supreme in Madrid

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Real Madrid fans are confident that the team will be able to tame PSG ahead of the second leg encounter.

Real Madrid might have left themselves with a mountain to climb following a very mediocre performance in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 but the Spanish giants aren’t up against it.

The day after the first leg, most fans and observers looked rather crestfallen. Indeed, their team had bowed, by a small margin for sure, but showing a very disturbing image. Impotence was probably the word that came up the most on TV sets, where people did not hesitate to emphasize the superiority of PSG, whether tactically, technically, or physically.

Some were even surprised to have seen such an inoffensive Real Madrid, and the expected absences of Mendy and Casemiro, both suspended, did not invite general positivism.

But if we take stock of the situation today, something has changed. Madrid put on a fine performance against Real Sociedad at the weekend while PSG lost to Nice.

Madrid with a different attitude 

The people of the city believe that Los Blancos might come up with the goods. The attitude of the team against their Basque rivals has something to do with that. We saw a team that pressed high, asphyxiated their rival, and managed to fight their way to the box without too much trouble. Everything that Real Madrid missed in the first round, in short.

But then again, PSG will be a whole different story even if the foundations of a good showing have been laid.

Vinicius Junior is Real Madrid's ultimate protagonist

Madrid can’t do worse than the first leg. Moreover, the Bernabeu is accustomed to big European nights. This is where the players thrive.

Individual moments define such encounters. Such as the one from Kylian Mbappe three weeks ago. But the Frenchman is unlikely to last the entire 90 minutes of the game. And the Ligue 1 giants have proven that they can struggle without their star man.

Therefore, individual performances from the likes of Vinicius Jr. and Karim Benzema will matter a lot.

Madrid don’t appear to be scared of PSG and perhaps that’s all that matters.