Champions League: Paris Saint-Germain vs Barcelona FC – Preview

02/04/2013 no comments »
Champions League: Paris Saint-Germain vs Barcelona FC – Preview

The UEFA Champions League resumes this week with the quarter finals, and one of the ties is Paris Saint-Germain against tournament favourites Barcelona, with the first leg in Paris on the 2nd April and the return leg in Catalonia just over a week later.

Given the team that Barcelona can field including Lionel Messi and David Villa, ensures the task ahead of Paris Saint-Germain is a mammoth one, but not impossible as Inter Milan and last season’s Champions Chelsea have both knocked the Catalonians out in recent years.

The Parisians will be hoping to gain a first leg advantage to take to Spain, and they have been boosted by the successful appeal to UEFA meaning their talismanic former Barcelona star Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be available for the first leg. Their game plan may be to incorporate a counter attacking philosophy against Barcelona, with Lucas, Jeremy Menez and European top scorer Ezequiel Lavezzi breaking quickly.

Barcelona meanwhile will be buoyant after their history making comeback against A.C. Milan, when they became the first club to recover from a first leg deficit without needing an away goal. Lionel Messi proved yet again why he is deemed as one of the truly great players with a monumental two goal performance to stun the Italians and end their hopes.

Barcelona are so much more than Lionel Messi, as midfield maestro’s Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta work their magic in ensuring the Catalonians keep the ball for as long as possible, thus giving opponents minimal opportunities in matches. The Parisians will therefore be hoping they can maximise the opportunities they create, especially in Paris, as the Camp Nou in the second leg, is as tough an away ground in the world to gain a result.

Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona are both in good form going into the showdown, as they are currently on course to win their domestic leagues, with the French outfit seven points clear and the Spaniards thirteen points clear of their nearest competitors.

Although they are underdogs for this tie, Paris Saint-Germain have history on their side as the last time they reached this stage of the Champions League, they eliminated Barcelona 3-2 on aggregate in 1995, with George Weah, Brazilian Raí and Vincent Guérin scoring the goals for Luis Fernandez’s side.

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