Norwich Lionel Messi has been labelled a “bottler” with Real Madrid backed to overcome their first leg deficit to knock Paris Saint-Germain out of the Champions League. Messi’s PSG side beat Real 1-0 at the Parc des Princes last month. The former Barcelona superstar missed a penalty but Kylian Mbappe came up with the goods late on for the French side.
PSG visit Madrid tonight (Wednesday) in the second leg of the last-16 tie.
One of Europe’s top clubs will be exiting the competition at the first knockout stage.
PSG are favourites due to their slim advantage in Paris but Liverpool legend Steve Nicol has other ideas.
Nicol, a pundit for ESPN FC, says PSG’s tendency to falter in the knockout rounds makes Real more likely to come out on top tonight.
PSG have never won the Champions League and have only been in one final, where they lost to Bayern Munich in 2020.
“Well after the first leg I was absolutely, 100 per cent, in the PSG camp,” Nicol said.
“Because I was thinking ‘hold on, they have just battered Real Madrid, Real Madrid aren’t going to have Casemiro, they’re not going to have [Ferland] Mendy, what are they going to do, are they going to have to play Marcelo?’.
“But as time’s gone by and I’ve thought about it, this PSG side are a bunch of bottle merchants. They’ve basically bottled it most of the time.