What: Champions League Quarter-final (first leg)
Who: Paris Saint-Germain vs Barcelona
When: Tuesday 2nd April, 2013, at 19:45 UK Time
Where: Parc des Princes, Paris, France

Stay Concentrated

Paris Saint-Germain’s luck ran out during the draw for the Champions League quarter-finals as they were dealt the most difficult card possible by being paired with Spanish league leaders Barcelona. The French giants are unbeaten at home in European competitions in the last six years, but it will be tough to keep that record going against a side of Barcelona’s magnitude. But with the second leg taking place at the Camp Nou a week later, Carlo Ancelotti’s men will need make best use of this occasion as their adversaries are rarely embarrassed on their own turf.

The home side were victorious the last time the two met in an official competition, eighteen years ago on 15th March 1995. Back then, Carles Busquets – father of current midfielder Sergio Busquets – stood in goal for the Catalans, but was unable to prevent a win for PSG.

This time around things will be much harder, according to Javier Pastore. “They are a side that play very good football. It will be a very difficult match for us. We need to concentrate at all times. Barcelona are a team that capitalise on the slightest mistakes to score. Second, it is difficult to score in return. We will need to remain calm when they have possession of the ball”, explained the Argentine playmaker.


Barcelona would have been favourites against any team they drew; such is the strength of the Catalan side. However, failure to give their best could have dire consequences for the club. After being dumped out in the semi-finals last season at the hands of eventual winners Chelsea, the Blaugrana will want to go on and win the competition in order to make it three triumphs in five editions.

Lionel Messi’s goal against Celta Vigo at the weekend marked another record for the living legend, as he became the first player to ever score against 19 successive sides in La Liga. This fact was tarnished as Los Cules could only earn a draw in Vigo, but that will count for little as they still command a hefty lead at the top of the table.

Speaking after that game, Messi voiced his opinion over the difficulty of their upcoming match. “Now we have to rest to get to our physical best for Tuesday’s game against PSG. It will be a tough game."

The visiting side have received good news though, as coach Tito Vilanova is now confirmed to be part of the travelling body to Paris. His absence coincided with a dip in form for Barcelona last February and his players will receive a psychological boost with his return.

Recent form

PSG 2-1 Nancy (09/03; Ligue 1)
Saint-Etienne 1-1 PSG (17/03; Ligue 1)
PSG 1-0 Montpellier (29/03; Ligue 1)

Barcelona 4-0 AC Milan (12/03; Champions League)
Barcelona 3-1 Rayo Vallecano (17/03; La Liga)
Celta Vigo 2-2 Barcelona (30/03; La Liga)

Key absences

PSG: Thiago Motta

Barcelona: Pedro Rodriguez; Adriano; Carles Puyol    

Players to watch

Paris Saint-Germain – Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Little cases of matters personal are filled with more emotions than this one. The Swede landed at the Camp Nou for the 2009/10 season, but soon exited and met his old club with Italian side AC Milan. Still one of the most menacing presences in the box, he will need to be cautiously dealt with.

Barcelona – David Villa: With Pedro Rodriguez missing this one through injury, the Spanish forward will need to show that he still has what it takes to capture the audience with a breathtaking display. It is moments like these where a true superstar shows his true colours.

Match Prediction

PSG are undefeated in their last six Champions League fixtures, but that might change when they come face to face with the world’s best side. Should they want to have any hope of qualification, they will need to focus greatly on this match and get a good result. Barcelona are missing some key players in defence and that could hurt them, but the team are in a good spot and should not be bothered too much. Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Barcelona.

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