The European Champions League quarterfinal showdown between Barcelona and PSG (Paris Saint Germain) resumes at the Camp Nou in Spain on Wednesday April 10. This matchup features the league leaders in both Spain and France and is a must game for both teams if they hope to reach the semifinal stage. The first match finished 2-2 last week at Parc de Princes in Paris. The biggest news in this game is the fact that Argentine striker Lionel Messi was injured in the first contest and will likely miss this leg.
Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova is hoping that his team won’t miss Messi too much if he doesn’t play and that everybody else in the squad can chip in with an extra effort to make up for his absence. He also has to make sure his players mark Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic very closely as he’s PSG’s top scorer and is always a threat.
These teams have faced each other just twice and both games ended in 2-2 draws. One of them was a friendly last summer. Messi opened the scoring last week in the 38th minute, but Ibrahimovic tied it at 1-1 in the 79th. Xavi scored on a penalty in the 88th minute and it looked like Barcelona would escape with a win. However, PSG leveled the game at 2-2 during the fourth minute of added time when Blaise Matuidi scored.
If this game should happen to end in another 2-2 draw then we’ll see extra time to decide a winner. If there’s no scoring after 30 minutes then it goes to a penalty shootout. If the match finishes 0-0 or 1-1 then Barcelona will go through. Any draw 3-3 and above will see PSG reach the last four. If either team wins the game outright then they will advance.
If Messi can’t play then look for Cesc Fabregas to go up front. Also look for Pedro to get a start after returning to the team from a calf problem. For PSG, skipper Thiago Silva missed the match on the weekend when his club beat Rennes, but is expected to play. Alex and Thiago Motta are also likely to be back in the squad, but Matuidi will miss the match with a suspension.
Barcelona hasn’t lost in their last 20 home games in the Champions League. They’ve won 16 and drawn four in this stretch with the last loss being in 2009. They’ve won five, lost one and drawn one against French teams in overall European play. The Spanish side has drawn the first leg 23 times in the past and have advanced 18 times. PSG has won three games on the road this season in four Champions League tries. They’ve never lost a series to Spanish opposition. They’ve won four, drawn once and lost three to Spanish sides overall.
Betting Predictions for Barca vs PSG
Barcelona doesn’t need to win this game to advance, but they can’t afford to hope for a draw. Look for them to win a close game and advance. We’ll go with a 2-1 win.
William Hill has the latest odds of a PSG win at 8/1 with a Barcelona victory at 4/11 and a draw at 7/2