PSG vs. Barcelona: Team News, Predicted Lineups, Live Stream and TV Info

Jason Pettigrove@@jaypetti1971Contributor IApril 15, 2015

WIll Neymar's mini-slump continue or will he be decisive in Paris?
WIll Neymar's mini-slump continue or will he be decisive in Paris?Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Barcelona travel to Paris for the second time this season as they take on conquerors of Chelsea in the last round, Paris Saint-Germain, in a mouth-watering Champions League quarter-final.

PSG manager Laurent Blanc's side come into the game at a huge disadvantage with no less than four first-teamers missing.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's unfortunate red card at Stamford Bridge rules him out of this one, and given how well he always seems to play against his old side, his omission is a bitter pill for Blanc to swallow.

Having said that, he was also missing from the first group game between the sides at the same venue—a game that PSG won 3-2.

Marco Verratti is one of four PSG players unavailable for the first leg.
Marco Verratti is one of four PSG players unavailable for the first leg.Christophe Ena/Associated Press

Also suspended is Marco Verratti, who is really beginning to make a name for himself at the French champions, and injuries to both David Luiz and Thiago Motta make up the absent quartet.

Barca manager Luis Enrique will be keen to guard against complacency, because PSG still have the talent to cause the Catalans problems.

Lucho only needs to remind the players of their insouciance while 2-0 up against Sevilla. That should be enough to motivate the players to finish the job at the first time of asking.

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Date: Wednesday, April 15

Time: 7:45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m ET

Venue: Parc des Princes, Paris, France

TV Info: Sky Sports 5 (UK only)/Fox Soccer Plus (USA only)

Live Stream: Sky Go (UK only)/Fox Soccer 2Go (USA only)

Form Lines

Last Six Results
Paris Saint-GermainBarcelona
W 4-0 vs. BastiaD 2-2 vs Sevilla
W 3-2 vs. MarseilleW 4-0 vs Almeria
W 3-1 vs. LorientW 1-0 vs Celta Vigo
L 2-3 vs. BordeauxW 2-1 vs Real Madrid 
D 2-2 vs. Chelsea W 1-0 vs Manchester City
W 4-1 vs. LensW 2-0 vs. Eibar

 

Predicted Formations

Barcelona's set up against PSG
Barcelona's set up against PSGB/R Formation builder.

A tactical reshuffle might be in order for Barca again, as Lucho would surely prefer to see a repeat of the second group game between the sides, which ended in a comprehensive 3-1 victory for the Blaugrana.

Aside from all three of Barca's front line getting on the score sheet, it was a match notable for Enrique's decision to play Pedro as a right-wing-back. Dani Alves' absence could see a repeat.

Edinson Cavani's height is bound to cause problems in the centre, so the likelihood is that Jeremy Mathieu will keep his place, joined by both Gerard Pique and Marc Bartra.

Edinson Cavani will cause problems for Barca aerially.
Edinson Cavani will cause problems for Barca aerially.Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Javier Mascherano will slot into a midfield that includes Sergio Busquets and Pedro Rodriguez.

The front three picks itself as always, but anymore disrespect from Neymar towards Enrique could result in a benching. The manager is known not to suffer fools gladly, and he will be none too pleased at Neymar's reaction to being substituted against Sevilla.

Blanc is likely to start with the same formation and players, bar Ibra and Verratti, that were used in the win over Bastia at the weekend.

Cavani is a natural fit for the No. 9 role, and Lucas Moura will take Verratti's place on the right side of midfield.

With the likes of Ezequiel Lavezzi, Javier Pastore and Blaise Matuidi all fit and raring to go, PSG will still fancy their chances.


 

Player to Watch 

Serge Aurier is a warrior at right-back for PSG.
Serge Aurier is a warrior at right-back for PSG.David Vincent/Associated Press

Serge Aurier is proving to be a fearsome competitor for PSG.

Most naturally at home in a right-back berth, Aurier has played on the left side and centrally when required.

Combining raw power, pace and athleticism, the 22-year-old youngster has it all in footballing terms, and he won't allow fellow youngster Neymar, 23, a moment's peace.

It will be interesting to watch that particular battle develop and to see just how frustrated the Brazilian will become when he gets no change out of the Ivorian.

A supplementary presence in attack, Aurier could well end up being decisive at both ends of the pitch.

Key Battle 

Lucas Moura knows he has the beating of Jordi Alba.
Lucas Moura knows he has the beating of Jordi Alba.David Vincent/Associated Press

During the first match in Paris, Jordi Alba was given the sternest of tests by Moura.

Expect Blanc to insist upon the same level of commitment and desire from the Brazilian as PSG seek to limit Alba's raiding down the left-hand channel.

If Alba can be pinned back into his own half for the most part, then the link play with Neymar that has been so successful during this campaign is moribund.

There aren't too many players who can match Alba for pace, but as Moura has already shown, he has the left-backs' number.

The Spaniard will need something else in his locker to ensure his own contribution remains worthwhile.

Odds

The following pre-match odds are available via our betting partner OddsShark:  

Home Win: +370

Away Win: -118

Draw: +247

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