FC Barcelona take on Paris Saint-Germain tomorrow looking to secure their place in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League for the sixth season in succession.
Barcelona may be without Javier Mascherano and Carles Puyol for tomorrow’s crunch tie with PSG, but both Adriano and Pedro have shaken off injuries to be in contention for a place in the starting XI – even if they haven’t yet received medical clearance to return to action.
Lionel Messi, according to the team’s website, is on the squad sheet for the team. That obviously means that the golden boy has been training and recuperating.
Victor Valdés may be leaving the club in the near future, and he was suspended for the past four La Liga matches but the Catalan will start between the sticks looking to replicate his impressive showing in the first-leg at the Parc des Princes. Valdés pulled off a number of good saves to keep the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Javier Pastore at bay, only to be denied a clean sheet thanks to a moment of madness from an assistant referee.
In defense, Dani Alves and Jordi Alba will start at full-back, while Gerard Piqué will start at centre-back, but with Mascherano and Puyol injured, Tito Vilanova has a difficult decision to make regarding the fourth and final spot.
Despite concerns over their fitness, both Alex and Thiago Silva are likely to start tomorrow, while Thiago Motta could make his return from injury to deputise for the suspended Blaise Matuidi. Motta is one of three former Barcelona players who could start tomorrow – the others being Maxwell and Zlatan Ibrahimovic – and the Italian would relish the chance to make his return at the Camp Nou, especially after he saw red in his last appearance at his former home in that infamous clash with Sergio Busquets. However, Motta will face competition for a starting berth from his compatriot Marco Verratti and also from Clement Chantome who could start fifth UEFA Champions League match.
FC Barcelona: Valdés (GK); Alves, Pique, Song, Alba; Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets; Sanchez, Messi, Villa
Paris Saint-Germain: Sirigu (GK); Jallet, Silva, Alex, Maxwell; Lucas, Verratti, Matuidi, Pastore; Lavezzi, Ibrahimovic
FC Barcelona: W/D/W/W/L/W
Paris Saint-Germain: W/W/D/W/L/W
Canal+ Yomvi, Esport3, C+ Liga de Campaigns /HD, TV3 Catalunya
Sky Sports 2/HD, Sky Sports Red Button, Sky Sports Events Centre, Sky Go
Fox Soccer 2Go, FOX Deportes, Fox Soccer Channel, SiriusXM FC, TV3 Catalunya
Camp Nou, Barcelona (FC Barcelona home)
Kick-off: 1145am PST, 245pm EST, 745pm GMT
Barcelona Win 1.36
PSG Win 8.50
With or without Messi, this PSG side has enough talent to cause problems for Vilanova's men, but that all depends on how they approach the match. If they are going to try and sit deep and look for the counter attack as AC Milan did, then they could be in for a long night.
Barcelona 3-1 PSG
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