UCL QF Second-Leg Preview: Barcelona vs PSG

The latest instalment of PSG vs Barcelona will take place tonight at Camp Nou; Barcelona will start as red-hot favourites following their 3-1 success in Paris last week. Luis Enrique’s men have one foot in the semi-final but will have to guard against complacency when coming up against this PSG side.

Both sides go into the fixture on the back of good wins in their domestic leagues at the weekend, PSG won 3-1 on their visit to Nice, a double from Argentine Javier Pastore and an Edinson Cavani penalty kept the Parisian’s hopes of retaining Ligue 1 very much alive. Meanwhile, Barcelona had to overcome a plucky Valencia side at Camp Nou, the Catalan’s won by a 2-0 scoreline with goals from Luis Suarez and Leo Messi.

The French champions have nothing to lose and will have to create history in order to progress. They will have to emulate Bayern Munich’s side of 2012-13 and score three goals without reply –which looks to be a very tall order.

 

Key players

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – PSG: The big Swede returns to his old stomping ground with a point to prove. His performance will be pivotal to any hopes that PSG have of progressing, and he will be fired up and ready to stick it to his former employers.

Gerard Pique – Barcelona: The performance of the central defender will be vital this evening. He will have to be at his very best to stop his former teammate and friend, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, from getting on the scoresheet and causing his team unnecessary panic.

In terms of injury news, Barcelona go into the tie with a fully-fit squad, apart from long-term absentee Thomas Vermaelen, who still has a hamstring problem. PSG go into the game without the injured midfielder  Thiago Motta and are also without Ivorian full-back Serge Aurier and inspirational captain Thiago Silva.

 

Predicted line-ups

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Suarez, Messi, Neymar.

PSG: Sirigu; Van der Wiel, David Luiz, Marquinhos, Maxwell; Verratti, Cabaye, Matuidi; Cavani, Ibrahimovic, Pastore.

 

Prediction

I would expect Barcelona to finish the job quite comfortably. That being said, anything could happen if PSG manage to get an early goal. You would imagine with the three away goals Barca came home with from Paris that an early Barcelona goal would kill the tie stone dead. In terms of a result, I can see Barcelona winning 2-1 and comfortably heading into the semi-finals.

Article for Forza Futbol

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