It is the defending champions against the tournament favourites, the grand old aristocrats of European football against the new upstarts, old money against new money, Real Madrid against Paris Saint-Germain.
Rarely has there been such a hotly-anticipated showdown at the last-16 stage of the Champions League and with such star quality on display, it is really hard to split them.
But we’ll do our best to rate the form of the two sets of players in our Champions League high court.
Managers Zinedine Zidane (left) and Unai Emery go head-to-head as Real Madrid take on Paris Saint-Germain in a Champions League last-16 showdown
Keylor Navas (Real Madrid)
Curiously for such big clubs, both goalkeepers may well be a point of weakness and both Real and PSG would probably like to upgrade them at some point soon.
Navas isn’t having a great season – he has conceded 26 goals in 25 matches and spent eight matches on the sidelines with an abductor muscle injury.
Clean sheets have been difficult to come by – just seven so far this season – and Real haven’t necessarily always outscored their opponent either. 6/10
Keylor Navas on the ball during Real Madrid’s 5-2 victory over Real Sociedad on Saturday
Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain)
Areola has established himself as PSG’s No 1 this season ahead of Kevin Trapp but the feeling remains that, at 24, he is far from the finished article.
Having said that, he doesn’t concede too many goals and kept four clean sheets from six group stage matches.
Like Real, PSG will perhaps look to upgrade their keeper this summer. 6/10
PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola comes out to make an unorthodox save against Toulouse
With Dani Carvajal suspended for the first leg, the versatile Nacho will likely deputise at right-back.
His versatility is a real asset and the Spaniard tends to slot in anywhere in the Real defence as and when required, though centre-half would be his favoured position.
Nacho has been used extensively in Europe this season and his sole responsibility will be to stop Neymar scoring or creating chances.
Luckily, Nacho is actually one of the quickest players in the team, so he certainly won’t be fazed by the challenge of stifling the Brazilian. 7/10
Nacho gets stuck into his team-mate Lucas Vazquez during training ahead of the last-16 tie
With three Champions League winners’ medals in his collection from his time at Barcelona, there are few more experienced European campaigners than Alves.
Even at the age of 34, the Brazilian could still be counted as one of the best right-backs in world football and he was made for nights like this.
As a former Barcelona hero, he can expect a frosty reception at the Bernabeu but will thrive on such animosity. Will look to support the front men at every opportunity and they certainly work well in tandem. 8/10
Dani Alves, three-time Champions League winner with Barcelona, in action last weekend
Not everyone’s cup of tea as a character, but you can’t argue with the Real captain’s CV. A three-time European champion and one of the wiliest campaigners out there on the continental stage.
A true leader at the heart of Real’s defence, Ramos is another who excels on nights such as this and at the age of 31, he’ll feel he has another one or two Champions League medals still to win.
Mind you, this hasn’t exactly been his finest season. He has been affected by injury and Real have sometimes struggled without his presence, hence their disappointing league position.
You wouldn’t bet against him settling this tie with a header from a set-piece either. 8/10
Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos wins a header during the win over Real Sociedad
At 23, the Brazilian has matured into a fine centre-back and is practically an ever-present for PSG, especially in the Champions League.
Working seamlessly in tandem with Thiago Silva, they provide the rock-solid foundation upon which PSG’s attacking players can express themselves.
Now in his fifth season with the Parisians, he will be itching to add the European medal that is missing from his collection. 7.5/10
PSG’s defender Marquinhos soars to make a clearing header in their win over Toulouse
At 24, it’s fair to say Varane has become the defender we all hoped he would when he arrived at Real aged 18.
You don’t often get such a young player with three Champions League winners’ medals to his credit and the pace and control he brings to Real’s defence compliments Ramos nicely.
Yet Varane has this week again been linked with a move away from the Bernabeu – possibly to Manchester United – in the summer so you wonder what the future holds for the Frenchman. 7.5/10
Raphael Varane goes up for a header during Real’s La Liga victory over Real Sociedad
PSG’s leadership also comes from the heart of defence in the form of Thiago Silva and he remains, at the age of 33, one of the best pound-for-pound defenders anywhere in the game.
Though injuries have started to take an increasing toll, he continues to play a prominent role especially in PSG’s European fixtures.
His authority will be absolutely crucial in this tie, as will his experience of such big occasions. A European winners medal continues to elude him, but he’ll never have a better chance to win one. 8/10
PSG captain Thiago Silva will never have a better opportunity to win a European winners medal
Such a fun player to watch, especially in helter-skelter matches such as this. The all-action Brazilian will one moment be charging forward as Real attack, the next haring back to rob Kylian Mbappe of the ball.
Like many of those around him, Marcelo isn’t enjoying the best form this season but his pedigree in European competition is superb.
Having nicely stoked the fires ahead of this match by saying Neymar will one day play alongside him for Real, he now needs to let his feet do the talking. 8.5/10
Brazilian star Marcelo goes on the rampage for Real and will be crucial to their hopes
The left-back position has been an interesting one for PSG this season, with Kurzawa and Yuri Berchiche scrapping for Unai Emery’s favour.
In Europe, it’s Kurzawa that has got the nod, playing every minute of the Champions League campaign so far and he will probably start in the Bernabeu.
For some, this position is a weak link for PSG when Kurzawa is occupying it. In the defeat to Lyon last month, for example, he scored with a cracking volley but was defensively suspect. 7/10
Layvin Kurzawa has faced a struggle to retain his place at left-back for PSG this season
Is he the world’s best holding midfielder? There’s a stong case to be made. Casemiro has become the rock upon which a lot of Real’s recent success has been based.
It’s in matches such as this the Brazilian should truly come into his own as he stops the supply lines to PSG’s dangerous frontmen and takes pressure off the defence, while also linking to those further forward.
One worry for Zidane is that Casemiro gets done for pace early on and picks up a yellow card. He has served a suspension for yellow card accumulation in the league already this season. 8/10
Casemiro shares a joke with Cristiano Ronaldo during training ahead of the game this week
His future at PSG hasn’t always been certain – he turned down Barcelona in the summer – but the Italian midfielder has certainly held his own on the European stage this season.
Two goals and two assists in six group stage starts underlined his worth in these kind of contests and his sharp eye for a pass will be integral to PSG’s chances.
Now 25, Verratti could well be entering his prime. It’s certainly the case that his stock continues to rise. 7.5/10
Marco Verratti plays a pass during PSG’s slender win at Toulouse last weekend
Real’s midfield metronome and the fulcrum on which defence turns into attack for the reigning European champions.
The German is pretty much an ever-present in Zidane’s team and it won’t take long for him to exert his influence at the Bernabeu with one of those effortless cross-field passes.
His drive from the central midfield position and vast experience of such high-pressure European nights could make all the different. 8.5/10
Toni Kroos fires home Real Madrid’s third goal in their victory over Sociedad on Saturday
A visit to the Bernabeu is one of the most daunting in European football and you need players who won’t shirk the challenge and offer you some bite.
Diarra not only played for Real for a number of years but has the industry and aggression to ensure PSG come away from the first leg well in contention in the tie.
Now 32, the former Chelsea, Arsenal and Portsmouth midfielder was signed by PSG from Emirati club Al Jazira last month and clearly isn’t bound for football’s retirement home just yet. 7/10
Lassana Diarra has returned to the big time after signing for PSG last month
The Croatian may be 32 now but he remains as pleasing on the eye as ever and important to Real’s midfield alongside Kroos.
Modric starts pretty much every game and keeps Real moving forward with his excellent range of passing.
If Real are to rediscover their spark in what has been a disappointing season, they’ll need Modric to be fully firing. 8/10
Luka Modric chases after the ball during Real’s victory over Sociedad at the weekend
Rabiot has developed into a fine midfielder and you can’t imagine the PSG side without him now.
He’s going to be kept busy by Real, that’s for sure, and his duty to stamp out their attacks before they have chance to inflict any damage is vital.
Rabiot won’t ever get as many headlines as the likes of Neymar and Mbappe, but his unheralded role is often just as significant. 7.5/10
Adrien Rabiot holds off the challenge of Toulouse’s Steeve Yago during their last match
On without further ado to the most interesting part of the field – two attacking line-ups just oozing with world class players.
Welsh star Bale might not always get the respect he deserves from the Bernabeu season but he’s been excellent again in a relatively lean year for Real Madrid.
Despite yet another injury-plagued campaign, he has been one of their most consistent and reliable performers both at home and abroad.
Nine goals and six assists attest to that and his bursts of acceleration and eye for goal could possibly swing this tie their way. 9/10
Gareth Bale swings in a cross during a recent Real Madrid fixture and will be key in this tie
The great prodigy of world football has taken the move to the capital from Monaco in his stride, scoring 15 goals and contributing 14 assists to live up to his billing.
His virtues are well-documented – explosive pace and a deadly eye for goal, while he has repeatedly proven himself on a Champions League stage that can be overwhelming for many teenage players.
Real were very keen on Mbappe last summer but, in a sign of how the powerbase in European football may be shifting from old money to new, he chose PSG instead.
The onus is now on Mbappe to show Real exactly what they are missing. 9/10
Teenage star Kylian Mbappe in full flight for PSG during last weekend’s game at Toulouse
A really average season for Benzema and you have to feel that Real won’t be indulging him for too much longer.
He remains part of their forward line but a return of only six goals from an admittedly injury-affected season is a massive drop in standards from recent campaigns.
Mind you, if ever there is a chance for redemption, this is it and Benzema will be eager to show his big game edge hasn’t been lost. 8/10
Benzema sees a chance saved during the win over Sociedad – he has just six goals this season
To think we all felt the arrival of Mbappe and Neymar would spell the end of Cavani at PSG. Not a bit of it. If anything, the 31-year-old Uruguayan is getting better.
The front three all play with such joie de vivre that they create a stream of chances in games like a running tap. Little wonder Cavani has snaffled 28 goals already this season, including six in Europe.
Some of them are absolutely sublime to watch. He’s a match-winner on his day and PSG are going to need him firing on all cylinders here. 9/10
You don’t see Edinson Cavani miss from this situation – here he scores against Sochaux
What can you say that hasn’t already been said? It’s been a really sub-par season by Ronaldo’s stratospheric standards yet he has scored 23 goals in all competitions.
Nine of those came in six Champions League group games and there have been signs of late that things are starting to click again – he comes into this contest having scored a hat-trick at the weekend.
Ronaldo has been in so many of these blockbuster contests and usually he seizes the occasion and shapes it to his own ends. My night, my pitch, my victory.
Is he still the best player in the world? Maybe not. But there aren’t many others you’d want in your corner on nights like this. 10/10
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring one of his three goals in Real’s weekend win
The pressure of being the world’s most expensive footballer has weighed like a feather on the Brazilian star.
If anything, the £198m player has enhanced his value as a result of a spectacular start to life at the Parc des Princes, with a staggering return of 28 goals and 16 assists to date.
Many were of the opinion that he took a step down when he moved there from Barcelona, but Neymar appears motivated by a desire to make them scoff humble pie.
He’ll feel PSG are part of a breaking new wave in European football and it says everything that Real now want to sign him at any cost.
Helping PSG to European glory will be the perfect response. The first £250m footballer? £300m? Quite possible. 10/10
The brilliant Brazilian Neymar has enjoyed a prolific first season with Paris Saint-Germain
Real Madrid – 88.5/110
Paris Saint-Germain – 86.5/110