'Clearly they were better than us in every department - in the way they played, in midfield, ' the French boss said during his post-match press conference. The three top choice forwards for the Ligue 1 side - Edinson Cavani, Neymar Jr., and Kylian Mbappe - are all out of the match with injury or in Neymar's case, a suspension. Defenders Thilo Kehrer and Colin Dagba are both ruled out, as is Julian Draxler. Luka Jovic saw 20 minutes.
Gareth Bale, the mercurial Welshman who was nudged towards the door all summer long by Zidane, was by far Madrid's most potent threat. Marco Verratti is a certainty to start in the middle of the park for PSG.
Captain Sergio Ramos and Nacho are ruled out of the game due to suspension. Brahim Diaz is recovering from his injury, but is not part of the 19-man squad named by Zidane. Dani Carvajal is a shoe-in at right-back, while Marcelo's injury opens up a spot for Ferland Mendy on the opposite side. Raphaël Varane will most likely start alongside Éder Militão in the heart of the defence.
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After it was announced that Marcelo sustained a thigh injury in the 3-2 win over Levante, Zizou will now turn to one of his new defensive signings from the summer transfer window for this crucial match.
The French fullback's pace and ability to push up the flank should greatly help a thin Madrid midfield that will feature James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos, Casemiro, and no options off the bench.
Eden Hazard made his debut when he came off the bench for Madrid against Levante, but Zidane has revealed he will be careful with Hazard's integration into the first team. The Belgian should start on the left wing, with in-form striker Karim Benzema spearheading the Merengues' attack.
Real Madrid are unbeaten in their last four meetings with PSG in the Champions League (W3 D1) which came in the 2015-16 and 2017-18 seasons.
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PSG, who kick off their Group A games against Real Madrid on Tuesday, appealed against Neymar's ban after he took to social media to criticize the officials following their Round of 16 second leg defeat to Manchester United last March.
"We knew they'd pressure us but we didn't really get properly into the game at any stage".
Real Madrid have scored in each of their last 28 Champions League games under Zinedine Zidane.
It was a match where Real Madrid could do very little in attack. And without a doubt, both teams will be hampered to a large extent due to the absentees.
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'They're good at creating chances, that's not what worries me.