Barcelona vs. PSG: Complete Champions League Quarterfinal 2nd Leg Preview

Samuel MarsdenFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2013

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 06:  Cesc Fabregas of FC Barcelona celebrates with his team-mate Alexis Sanchez of FC Barcelona after scoring his team's fifth goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and RCD Mallorca at Camp Nou on April 6, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, second leg

FC Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain

Kickoff Wednesday, April 10, 20:45 (CET), 2:45 (ET)

Alexis Sanchez dropped and Xavi Hernandez dispatched the penalty. "Job done" must have been the thoughts of the Barcelona players.

Except it wasn't. Not quite.

Blaise Matuidi's shot, following Zlatan Ibrahimovic's knock down, took a slight deflection in deceiving its way past Victor Valdes—2-2 the final score in Paris.

On Wednesday night, in front of nearly 100,000 fans inside Camp Nou, Barcelona and PSG resume their Champions League quarterfinal.


Team News 

Lionel Messi will wait until the last minute before deciding how fit he is ahead of the match.

He limped off at halftime in Paris, but despite an assessment of two weeks out due to a hamstring injury, it's thought he'll at least be on the bench on Wednesday.

Barca have problems in defense, though. They'll be without Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano—although, more positively, Adriano and Jordi Alba should be fine.

Marc Bartra seems the most likely option to partner Gerard Pique. The young defender has started Barca's last two league games.

Pedro Rodriguez has also been back in training for the last few days.

It's not clear cut for PSG on the selection front, either.

Carlo Ancelotti will definitely be without Blaise Matuidi. The midfielder's yellow card in the first leg rules him out of featuring at Camp Nou.

Thiago Silva, Thiago Motta and Alex are all injury doubts ahead of the fixture. None of the three played in the 2-0 weekend win over Rennes in hope they'd be fit for the trip to Spain.


Men to Watch

Cesc Fabregas 

The former Arsenal man shone brightest in a much changed Barca 11 at the weekend, clinching a hat trick in the 5-0 win over Mallorca—the first of his career.

As he does frequently for Spain, he played in the false nine position. With Messi expected to only start from the bench this week, Fabregas looks set to be used there again against PSG.


Marco Verratti 

With a midfield depleting before him—Matuidi banned, Motta touch and go—the 20-year-old Italian should start at Camp Nou.

As one of the two holding midfielders in Ancelotti's system, he'll have a shot at coming of age on the big stage—a shot denied to him last week.


Last Time

Paris Saint Germain 2-2 Barcelona (Ibrahimovic 79', Matuidi 90' - Messi 39', Xavi 89')

PSG: Salvatore Sirigu; Christophe Jallet, Thiago Silva, Alex, Maxwell; David Beckham (Marco Verratti 70'), Blaise Matuidi; Lucas Moura, Javier Pastore (Kevin Gameiro 76'); Ezequiel Lavezzi (Jeremy Menez 66'), Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Barcelona: Victor Valdes; Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano (Marc Bartra 84'), Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta; Lionel Messi (Cesc Fabregas 46'), David Villa (Cristian Tello 81'), Alexis Sanchez