It’s been exactly one year, since PSG was eliminated from the Champions League by Barcelona and the French side is hoping to avenge that defeat. The timing is not exactly great, because the hosts are trying to field a starting formation that might miss its best strikers. Both Ibrahimovic and Lavezzi have missed the last game which ended once again undecided and there are some who claim that the two strikers will not be fixed to play tonight.
The problem is that even if manager Blanc insists on using them despite the fact that they are not fully recuperated, it is unlikely that either of them will play at full potential. Under normal circumstances, an Ibrahimovic doing his best to be enough to outshine most opponents, but against a team such as Barcelona, they need to have their best players playing their A-game. There are plenty of questions yet to answer and on top of that, PSG has a rather frightening record over the last month.
The French side used to dominate opponents both at home and on the road, scoring a bucket full of goals even against the most defensive teams. Apparently, things have changed and mostly for the worse, with four of the last five games ending in draws. The fact that PSG scored and allowed one goal in each of these contests is hardly encouraging, especially tonight when they are gearing up for an extremely difficult match against one of the best scoring teams in Europe.
Over the weekend, Barcelona impressed its fans with a 6-0 dazzling victory over another and both its key strikers scored on that match. Messi found his way to the net twice and Neymar the is even better, by scoring three goals and he created even more opportunities in the second half. One of the reasons for why the Spanish side decided to throw everything they’ve got in the domestic championship game was to make the scoreless draw against Malaga forgotten.
None of their key players suffered an injury in that match and overall they have all the veterans fit to play tonight, so the starting formation will remain unchanged. The expectations are high and the fact that Barcelona failed to win either the Champions League and the domestic championship last season further increases the pressure. They won’t have home pitch advantage tonight, but this won’t prevent them from playing offensive football, given the fact that PSG is probably going to play without its best strikers.
Punters have to decide on whether to back the hosts and tradition, which says that all head to head games ended undecided. The other option is to go with the favorites and settle for even odds offered by most bookmakers for Barcelona to prevail on the road. The Spanish side is not the most prolific one when playing away from home, but tonight they should be given credit to claim all three points.