|Barcelona vs PSG Match Preview
It could easily be classified as one of the worst nights in the history of the club as Barcelona, one of the favourites to lift the 2016/2017 UEFA Champions League title, surprisingly let in four goals without reply in the first leg of their Round of 16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes.
A brace from Angel di Maria along with goals from Edinson Cavani and Julian Draxler ensured Unai Emery’s men get a comfortable 4-0 win in the first leg, leaving Barça with a mountain to climb and hoping for a miracle in the return fixture as they’ll be looking to pull the greatest comeback in the history of the UEFA Champions League of they are to go through to the next round.
Barcelona have been in good form recently as coach Luis Enrique has successfully found an alternative 3-4-3 formation that has worked well in their last two games of which they won with high scorelines that will be good enough to see them through of they were to get such results against PSG. But unfortunately, PSG are a different team entirely as both wins were 6-1 vs Sporting Gijon and 5-0 against Celta Vigo both in the bottom half of La Liga table.
Barça also won all their home games in the CL this season by scorelines good enough to not see them crash out, including a 4-0 victory against Manchester City… The truth is, the feat is logically impossible, very hard one, but anything can happen in football. And by the way, PSG are currently on a 14-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
Despite early rumours that some key PSG players won’t make it to the team due to fitness issues, the French champions took a full strength squad to Barcelona with the likes of Angel di Maria, Verratti and Rabiot all making the trip. Former Barça star Thiago Motta who missed the first leg through suspension made the trip as well. Captain Thiago Silva is also back for the game. Literally, the entire PSG squad made the trip except Cup-tied Gonzalo Guedes.
For Barcelona, it is well known that defender Aleix Vidal is out for the rest of the season and won’t feature. He is join in the sidelines by Jérémy Mathieu who didn’t recover in time for the game. These are the only two major absentees. Captain Andrés Iniesta could return to the starting lineup after starting the last two games on the bench with Luis Enrique set to continue his nice 3-4-3 system while it is uncertain if Rakitic or Sergi Roberto will start. Javier Mascherano missed the first leg through injury but could start tonight.
BARCELONA VS PSG
Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Time: 8:45pm CET
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: Deniz Aytekin
PSG 4-0 Barcelona
Barcelona 2-0 PSG
PSG 1-3 Barcelona
Barcelona 3-1 PSG
PSG 3-2 Barcelona
Results Barça Need To Progress: Barça must win by more than four goals in order to progress, with the exception of a 4-0 win which will take the game into penalties.. Barça will be out with a result below a 4-goal margin win (e.g 3-0, 4-1, 2-0, 4-2 etc or a draw/loss). Barça will be out on away goals with any 4-goal margin win other than 4-0 (e.g 5-1, 6-2, 7-3, 8-4). Barça will progress with any 5-goal margin win or above (e.g 5-0, 6-1, 7-2 etc or 6-0, 7-0, 13-0 etc). If PSG scores once, Barça will need to score 6 to progress, if they score twice then Barça will need 7. Any goal from PSG means Barça must win the game by at least a 5-goal margin to progress.
Predicted Barcelona Lineup: Marc-André Ter Stegen; Javier Mascherano, Gerard Piqué, Samuel Umtiti; Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi; Rafinha Alcántara, Luis Suárez, Neymar
Predicted PSG Lineup: Kevin Trapp; Kurzawa, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Meunier; Rabiot, Marco Verratti; Blaise Matuidi, Angel di Maria, Julian Draxler; Edinson Cavani
BarcaLens Prediction: Let’s be optimistic foolishly: Barcelona 6-1 PSG