Champions League fixtures preview: Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain
PSG will be hoping to secure a victory over mighty Barca at Camp Nou in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-finals. Taking into account recent Barca’s home record (they are on a 20-game unbeaten run) the task is tough, albeit not impossible one, especially taking into account that Blaugrana’s star Leo Messi is a major doubt for the Champions League clash.
Meanwhile, huge favorites Barcelona will try to avoid complacency and do just enough to see the challenge of the French side in their chase of the fourth Champions League title in eight years.
Barcelona team news:
Leo Messi faces fitness race ahead of the clash with the French side, after picking up a hamstring injury during the 2-2 first-leg draw in Paris.
Cesc Fabregas, who has scored hat-trick in latest Barca’s La Liga encounter, is likely to be preferred up front, should Messi fail to regain to fitness in time. Pedro could also feature in the starting lineup after recovering from a calf injury.
Villanova is set to decide who he teams up with Pique at the heart of Blaugrana’s defense: Mascherano will definitely miss the clash after damaging knee against PSG while Puyol has not yet recovered from his knee surgery.
Despite Abidal’s emotional return on Saturday a year after a liver transplant surgery, he is not expected to be included in the starting lineup by Villanova.
Barcelona recent form:
Barca have demolished Mallorca 5-0 in their latest La Liga clash on Saturday, despite the absence of their free-scoring talismanic forward Leo Messi. Fabregas has ended his goal drought in a spectacular fashion, bagging three goals against the bottom-dwelling opposition, with misfit Alexis Sanchez adding another two.
Paris Saint-Germain recent form:
Despite Carlo Ancelotti’s decision to rest seven of the eleven players taking part in Champions League quarter-finals first leg against Barcelona, PSG secured a comfortable 2-0 victory over Stade Rennes in their latest Ligue 1 clash.
Paris Saint-Germain team news:
Blaise Matuidi is suspended for the forthcoming clash due to yellow cards accumulation.
David Beckham is likely to start again after his impressive midfield display in the first leg. Either Verratti or Chantome will partner Becks in the middle of the pitch, while Thiago Motta will be omitted due to lack of match practice.
Despite Jeremy Menez delivering an impressive performance against Stade Rennes, he is likely to be dropped from the first XI in favour of either Ezequiel Lavezzi or Lucas.
Centre-back Alex has recovered from a thigh injury and will feature in the forthcoming match.
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