The usual Champions League music will sound at kick-off tonight at the Parc des Princes but it will be the Last Post will playing for Real Madrid’s season on the final whistle if they lose their 3-1 advantage and go out of the Champions League.
Sportsmail unpacks the game that could decide their season and the legacy of their manager.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid beat PSG 3-1 in the first leg at the Bernabeu
Ronaldo’s first was a ‘bounce’ penalty to cancel out Adrien Rabiot’s opener for the Parisians
Fair to say going out does not bear thinking about for Real Madrid?
Zinedine Zidane is often the master of understatement and he did it again on Tuesday night when he said: ‘After the game, for one of these two teams, things are going to be difficult.’
‘Difficult’ does not begin to describe it. For Paris Saint-Germain at least there is the league title to wrap up for Real Madrid there will be nothing.
It will be a funeral march from here until the end of the season with the five remaining home games the toughest to deal with.
The nature of the defeat will dictate whether it’s the team in the stocks or Zidane’s head on the block, but someone will pay.
Real Madrid’s recent La Liga home games have been flat affairs; supporters have been saving their voices for the big European nights. If there are to be no more big European nights this season then those voices will turn on the team.
Real’s second bounced in off Ronaldo’s thigh in the closing 10 minutes of the first leg contest
Marcelo then made sure Real took a two-goal lead into the second leg with a late strike
Why are they in this position where the Champions League is all they are left playing for?
The European Cup is always Madrid’s priority. That’s part of the reason why they have won it more times than any other club.
No one cared that in 1998 they finished fourth – because they won the Champions League. No on cared that in 2000 they finished fifth – because they won the Champions League. No one cared in 2002 that they finished third – because… you know the rest.
But they have overplayed things this season. Zidane played a weakened side in a Copa del Rey second leg against Leganes and the team went out of a competition they could easily now have as an end of season back-up trophy.
They seemed to accept too early that the title was Barcelona’s and from a position of seeing their great rivals in the distance they are now embarrassingly out of sight.
Madrid have let seven goals in, in the last ten minutes of games. ‘Nobody sticks their foot in! We are like statues! Sergio Ramos is believed to have said during one heated dressing room inquest.
Ramos has missed big games this season through injury, Marcelo also had a time on the sidelines, and Cristiano Ronaldo was out at the start of the season suspended.
Those three captains have been irreplaceable. When they have not been on the pitch no one has stepped up.
Coach Zinedine Zidane knows he will come under enormous pressure if Real crash out
Zidane delivers a team talk to the players as they trained at the Parc des Prince on Monday
Are the supporters confident in spite of the league form?
After seeing their team win the last two tournaments they believe they can lift the European Cup again this season.
When the draw was made they pitied PSG’s bad luck for drawing them. And that confidence has only been further boosted by the absence of Neymar.
Zidane may have been very statesmanlike when he said that he wanted no one injured and would not be celebrating Neymar’s injury, but most Madrid supporters will see that as the first goal of the second leg.
The absence of Neymar through injury is a massive boost for Real ahead of the second leg
Does everyone share that confidence?
The players don’t see Neymar’s absence necessarily as a plus. Sergio Ramos said on Tuesday: ‘Perhaps Di Maria will help more defensively, he is a another great player and he can do a very complete job for them.’
There were sparks of brilliance from Neymar in the first leg but because so much revolves around him and because he tends to play on his own – not a single pass to Edinson Cavani in the first leg – then his absence perhaps makes PSG more of a team.
Zidane and his players are very wary of that possibility. They also know that PSG only need to win 2-0 tonight. There is no complacency in Zidane’s team.
Real’s players are wary of PSG’s Angel di Maria and the trouble he could cause them
Probable Real team
Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric/Lucas, Kroos, Casemiro, Bale; Benzema, Ronaldo
And what team will he pick?
It’s harder than ever to call because everyone is fit. He started the season with a very clear ‘Gala XI’ in his head. And there is a good chance tonight that if Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are both fit then that Gala XI will take to the pitch.
With Gareth Bale and Casemiro completing the midfield and Cristiano Ronaldo upfront with Karim Benzema. That would mean leaving out Lucas Vazquez, Isco and Marco Asensio.
Zidane has already shown this season that he is not afraid to leave Isco out of big games, he had him warming up without ever bringing him on during the Clasico in December.
And while the whole of Spain is enamoured with Asensio, Zidane may still see the 22-year-old as an impact substitute once Bale has run himself into the ground. And Bale will be asked to run himself into the ground if he starts.
It will be 4-4-2 and he will be asked to get up and down the pitch. Lucas Vazquez could start on the right of that 4-4-2 if Zidane feels that Kroos or Modric are still not 100 per cent.
Gareth Bale will be expected to run himself into the ground if he starts the match on Tuesday