The European Champions League quarterfinal showdowns kick off on Tuesday April 2 with Paris Saint Germain hosting Barcelona at the Parc de Princes. This matchup features David Beckham and France’s Ligue 1 leaders against Lionel Messi and the top team in the Spanish La Liga. PSG leads its league by seven points while Barcelona has a 13-point lead in Spain.
PSG goes into this game with just a pair of victories in their past five matches along with two draws and a loss. They managed to win their last outing though, which was a 1-0 win on Friday over reigning French champions Montpellier. Manager Carlo Ancelotti will need to make sure his squad is properly motivated for this match and that shouldn’t be hard to do since they’ll be taking on what many people consider to be the best team in the world. They made it to this stage of the Champions League tournament by beating Spanish side Valencia 2-1 away and then holding on for a 1-1 draw at home.
Barcelona has three wins, a draw and a loss in their past five matches and were held to a 2-2 draw on Saturday by Celta Vigo on the road. However, several top players were rested, such as Sergio Busquets, Javier Mascherano, David Villa, and Andres Iniesta. Messi was on target again which means he’s now scored at least one goal in 19 straight games. They made the quarterfinals the hard way as they were beaten 2-0 in Italy by AC Milan in the first leg of their round-of-16 matchup. However, they blasted their way to a 4-0 victory at home at the Camp Nou to guarantee themselves a spot in the last eight.
Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova knows his team will have its hands full and will need to mark Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic very closely. He’s PSG’s top scorer and is always a threat. He’s played 27 games in the French league so far this season and already has 25 goals in them. Of course, while Barcelona are keeping their eye on Ibrahimovic, PSG will need to do the same thing with Messi. The Argentine international has banged in 43 goals so far this season in just 29 league contests. He’s also scored seven more in this season’s Champions League.
These teams have never faced each other in the past, at least not competitively. They did meet last August in a friendly and the match ended in a 2-2 draw. PSG will likely have to play without the services of midfielder Thiago Motta as he injured his groin during training. Ibrahimovic is back after missing a match with suspension and Marco Verratti will join him after also being banned. Beckham will probably start the game on the bench.
Barcelona should have Jordi Alba and Xavi back in the team after missing Saturday’s game due to injuries. Goalkeeper Victor Valdes is back after being suspended, but defenders Adriano, Carles Puyol, and forward Pedro will likely miss the game due to various reasons. PSG is undefeated in their past 23 home games in Europe, which stretches all the way back to 2006. Barcelona has won just a pair of road games in their past eight trips overall.
Betting Predictions for PSG vs Barcelona
PSG is tough to beat at home, so they should at least be able to come out of this game with a draw.
Sportsbook William Hill has the latest odds of a PSG win at 19/5 with a Barcelona victory at 3/4 and a draw at 5/2