FC Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain: Champions League Quarter Final 2nd Leg Preview

psg barcelona dani alves zlatan ibrahimovicAnother thrilling night of football awaits Camp Nou as Barça take on Paris Saint-Germain with the intention of reaching a record-breaking sixth consecutive Champions League semi-final. Leo Messi faces a race against time to be fit for the game, while with Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano out injured Tito Vilanova has to decide on who will partner Gerard Piqué in central defence.

Following last week’s 2-2 draw at the Parc des Princes Barça are in a good position to go through, though the French side showed enough quality in the first leg to suggest the tie is far from over. Blaise Matuidi who scored PSG’s last gasp equalizer will miss tomorrow’s game through suspension, but coach Carlo Ancelotti has the remainder of his squad at full strength with Thiago Motta returning from injury.

Ancelotti rested seven of his team from the first leg for last Saturday’s league game at Rennes. However, Zlatan Ibrahimovic played the entire 90 minutes and scored in PSG’s 0-2 win which maintains their seven-point lead at the top of Ligue 1. With Matuidi out tomorrow, the big doubt for Ancelotti is who to play in the double midfield pivot. David Beckham could  get another chance with Motta returning to partner him, though Marco Veratti and Clement Chantome are also in contention.

psg barcelona valdesWith players like Lucas Moura, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore to support Ibrahimovic in attack, PSG have the talent going forward to create problems for Barça’s defence. Vilanova has to choose between Marc Bartrá, Adriano Correia, Alex Song, Sergio Busquets and Eric Abidal to find a central defensive partner for Gerard Piqué. It seems unlikely that the recently restored Abidal will be considered while both Song (problems with positioning) and Busquets (lack of pace) have been exposed in the past when given the role. Bartrá has shown plenty of promise with his limited opportunities but it will probably be the biggest test of his career if he is chosen. The versatile Adriano has just come back from injury and Vilanova values his pace and reliability which is why I believe he’ll probably get the job.

It will be a big surprise if we see anything other than a midfield trio of Busquets, Xavi Hernandez and Andrés Iniesta, but Vilanova has a more complicated decision to choose a forward line. Reports today suggest that Messi could easily suffer another injury if he plays so it would seem more sensible to start the Argentinian on the bench. This should leave Cesc Fabregas with the responsibility of playing the false nine position again after his hat-trick in the 5-0 win over Mallorca. David Villa looks likely to return on the left while the right side will be occupied by either Pedro Rodriguez or Alexis Sanchez. Pedro is also returning from injury so it seems likely that Alexis will get another chance after his two goals against Mallorca.

psg barcelona cesc fabregasBarça haven’t lost at home in the Champions League since losing to Rubin Kazan in October  2009, winning 16 with 4 draws since then. However, to reach the semi-final we will need to find a similar intensity to that seen in the 4-0 win over Milan in the last round. PSG will defend aggressively with closed lines while attempting to demonstrate their electric counter-attack. Concentration levels will need to be at a maximum to maintain a high tempo of passing while avoiding stupid mistakes which could cost us dearly.

Four Barça players, Jordi Alba, Adriano, Song and Piqué, are just one yellow card away from a suspension while Lavezzi and Thiago Silva are in the same position for PSG.

Possible teams:

Barça: Valdés; Alves, Piqué, Adriano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Alexis, Fabregas, Villa.

Paris SG: Sirigu; Jallet, Thiago Silva, Alex, Maxwell; Beckham, Motta; Lucas Moura, Lavezzi, Pastore; Ibrahimovic.

Prediction: Barça 2 PSG 1

Date: Wednesday 10 April 2013. Kick off 8.45 pm (local time)

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8 Responses to FC Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain: Champions League Quarter Final 2nd Leg Preview

  1. Pingback: FC Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain: Champions League Quarter Final 2nd Leg Preview | My Blog

  2. layibiyi says:

    Complicated tie this is…we need to totally dominate the midfield

  3. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    Very very good read as usual,

    However, Nic i have to say that i trust Bartra more than Adriano to get the job done in central defence alongside Pique. Adriano lacks in size and can be very careless against top oppositions. This is an awesome stage for Bartra to step up. The experience will be invaluable. We have nothing to lose. We have a good advantage on away goals, and we have won the UCL more than any other team has done in the past 7-8 years.

    I will go with the line-up of Valdes, Alves, Pique, Bartra, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Tello, Fabregas, David Villa.


    We need David Villa to pin the PSG defence at the back, Leaving Fabregas and Iniesta more space to cause damage via link up play and dribbles. David Villa could switch from the right channel(in between the right back and the center back) to the Center Forward role Tello is also a vital piece in this puzzle. He is the only winger in our team that dares to take on his marker 1 v1 DIRECTLY by using pace and trickery…this will cause them alot of problems especially on the left channel where Lucas Moura is roaming free. We could cause an ultimate terror on the break considering the speed of Jordi Alba on the left as welll. YUMMY!!

    In defence, Jordi Alba has to stay back more often to aid Bartra Pique and Busquets with the element of speed, while Alves storms up and down the right flank like he always does.

    Xavi must be Xavi….the ultimate engine room that keeps possession and plays the right passes.Busquets will stick tight and concentrate being right infront of the back 3 and will cover for Alves whenever he runs up with Xavi closing down to help whenever needed in defence.

    As for all the free kicks on that slight left attacking area of the field, I would suggest DAVID VILLA given the nod to take all of them. I fondly recall that Villa has a fantastic goal ratio for us when he takes them free kicks in that area (ESPECIALLY IN THE FIRST SEASON UPON ARRIVAL) He should be given the task to whip in the free kicks in that area with his killer right foot. Heck I am even confident he might just score 1 tomorrow.

    The game will be won in midfield. I predict either David Villa or Fabregas to be on the scoresheet for this match.

    A 3-1 scoreline will be my match prediction

  4. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    Like you mentioned, I would really hope that regardless of tactics and strategies, we must stay focused at the back. We must really not lose any ounce of concentration here..

    AND, i really hope that we play our usual heavy pressing game and maintain intensity.

    I hope that we break the scoring in the first half with a couple of goals and maintain the clean sheet till the break. Messi will come in from the 75th minute and add the icing on the cake =D

  5. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    I apologize for all the over-HOPING above….getting hyper worked up on this clash…here in Malaysia while everybody else concentrates on the BPL =D

  6. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    David Villa’s fantastic free kick vs AC MILAN

  7. cftc10 says:

    Reblogged this on cftc10.

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