Location : Camp Nou, Barcelona
Players To Watch
Lionel Messi – The Argentine is not used to losing, especially not at this stage in the competition. With 6 goals in his last 4 games, PSG will find it extremely difficult to keep him quiet. For Barcelona to get the result they need, Messi will have to pull out a very special performance – can the 5 time Ballon D’or Winner do it?
Adrien Rabiot – Budding superstar Rabiot pulled the strings in the first leg, dominating Iniesta and Busquets. PSG will be hoping for a repeat performance in the second leg.
Barca have experimented with 3 at the back in the last few games, a change which has seen them record two big wins over Sporting Gijon and Celta Vigo, as well as a crucial victory over Atletico. Expect this formation to persist, as Barca go for maximum attacking power.
Mathieu and Vidal remain out for this match.
PSG will be hoping to retain the midfield dominance they enjoyed in the first game, so don’t expect any changes there. Defensively PSG look very strong, and there is plenty of threatening pace up front, although don’t expect the full backs to be quite as aggressive as the first game.
Only Thiago Motta is unavailable.
Expect a high energy and entertaining display from Barca, who need to score at least 4 goals to force a penalty shoot out. Their new formation is one with huge attacking potential, as the best front 3 in the world is allowed the freedom to do what they do best. Barca, as always, will play a high line and squash the play into PSG’s half, forcing them back and relying on the pace of their back 3 and sweeper-keeper Ter Stegen to keep them secure.
PSG and Unai Emery have two options going into the game: Firstly, they can defend deep and hope that Barca don’t score more than 3 goals, while trying to catch them on the counter. Secondly, to attack, using their 4 home goals as a buffer as they try to get the away goals which could put them through. There are problems with both of these strategies, particularly when you consider that Barca are one of the world’s top sides and like to score a lot and not concede many (plus you can’t score without the ball).
Overall, this match is as unpredictable as it is exciting. It may all come down to who scores the first goal: If PSG then the game is over, if Barca then we may be about to witness one of the greatest Champions League comebacks of all time.