1 April, 2013 - 14:14

Champions League preview: Paris Saint-Germain vs Barcelona

Champions League preview: Paris Saint-Germain vs Barcelona

French moneybags Paris Saint-Germain are facing a tough challenge on their way to the second Champions League semi-final, as they host mighty Barcelona.

Barcelona have been given a huge boost with a return of Tito Vilanova, who flew back to Catalonia last week and is expected to feature on the bench for the first time after his cancer healing in New York.

The French reckon upon Ancelotti’s tactical genius, and hope that the Italian prepares a tactical master plan to withstand Barca’s famous tiki-taka.

Barcelona recent form:

Barcelona were held to a 2-2 draw by Celta in Vigo. This result has ended Barca’s winning run of three games that included the Champions League 4-0 victory over AC Milan. At the moment Barcelona are 13 points clear of their closest rivals in La Liga.

PSG recent form:

The Parisians cannot boast of excellent form, besides opening a seven-point lead at the top of Ligue 1. They secured four victories, suffered two defeats and drew two games in their latest 8 games since Champions League clash with Valencia at Mestalla.

Barcelona team news:

Despite Xavi Hernandez and Jordi Alba suffering injuries on international duty with Spain, both players were included in the squad that will visit France. They however remain doubts and will be tested before the game.

Adriano and Puyol have not been able to shake off their injuries and set to miss the game, while Pedro is suspended.

PSG team news:

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s two-game ban received for a sending off in PSG’s 2-1 win over Valencia has been halved by UEFA, meaning the Swede is free to play against Barcelona. Ibrahimovic’s availability has undoubtedly bolstered PSG’s chances of getting a much-needed home win over the Spanish giants, as the striker leads PSG’s goal scoring charts with 25 goals in 27 Ligue 1 appearances.

Lucas Moura is set to be assessed by the medical staff ahead of the game to determine whether he is fit enough to take part in the forthcoming game after recovering from an ankle injury.

Ezequiel Lavezzi is expected to feature in the first XI, after he has been rested in Ligue 1 game against Montpellier.

Thiago Motta will definitely miss the home PSG game through a groin injury, but could be back into action for a second leg.

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Author: Basil Naumov

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