Barcelona and Paris St Germain will meet again for the first time since the infamous “remontada”. The two European giants will lock horns tonight, as they battle it out to see who reaches the Quarter-Finals. The blaugranas are coming into this match after a convincing 5-1 win over Alaves, with two goals from Messi and Trincao, with the last coming from Firpo. PSG on the other hand picked up a vital victory over Nice last weekend, just edging ahead with a 2-1 victory.
Long Injury List for both teams
Both sides are heading into this match without key players. Barcelona are missing in form Araujo, while Fati is side-lined until April/May. PSG are also missing both Neymar and Di Maria, while Veratti is a doubt for the first leg. For Koeman’s side however, there is optimism on experienced defender Gerard Pique making a return. In Koeman’s recent press conference, he told reporters that “He is fine and trained with the group for four or five days. We have good confidence about his condition, but I have one more day to decide if he’s going to be in the team”. Pique returning would be a huge positive for the Catalan side, as his experience has been greatly missed in recent months. However, caution must be taken. Playing the defender too early can risk relapse, so Koeman has some difficult decisions to make.
The Messi Factor
With all the noise in the background, regarding Messi’s future and the PSG links, this match will surely serve up as a special treat. A behind-closed-doors match is simply not the same, especially considering what the atmosphere in Catalonia would be like for a tie like this. However, there is much more than just a spot in the quarter-finals at stake between Barcelona and PSG. The outcome of this match could be detrimental to the future of Messi, as he makes his decision on what to do next. In the meantime, just sit back and enjoy the match for what it is; two great teams battling it out for bragging rights. Visca Barca!
Barcelona Champions League form: WWWWWL
Paris Saint-Germain Champions League form: LWLWWW