Barcelona are set to take on Paris Saint-Germain at the Camp Nou in the Champions League Quarterfinals , with the possible absence of Lionel Messi looming over The Blaugrana. Messi had to be substituted at halftime in the first leg through a hamstring injury, and if the Argentine is declared not fit enough to play, Barca would play Cesc Fabregas in his “false number nine” position. The two sides drew 2-2 in the first leg in France , with Blaise Matuidi scoring an injury time equalizer for PSG, despite Barca having a 65% possession throughout the match. Barca only need a 0-0 or 1-1 draw to progress to the semifinals for the sixth consecutive time, and should not be to worried, even though center-backs Javier Mascherano and Carles Puyol are injured along with Messi. Mascherano and Puyol’s injury will be a huge boost to PSG, who will be looking to give the Barca defense, who have been looking very shaky in recent weeks (shipping thirteen goals in their last ten matches), a very hard time.
Barca have nearly locked down the La Liga trophy (being thirteen points clear of rivals Real Madrid with only eight games left in the season), and their focus is now concentrating on the Champions League (as they are also out of the Copa del Rey). The Blaugrana have been in inconsistent form by their standards, and have suffered recent setbacks, including their 2-2 draw with nineteenth place Celta Vigo in La Liga. They have won only five of their last ten matches, although two were against Real Madrid, and another two against AC Milan. Their attacking has been as good as usual tough, and they have scored an impressive sixteen goals in their last five matches.
PSG on the other hand have been on good form, only losing twice since early December. Their last match was a 2-0 win over Stade Rennes in Ligue 1, and they have a seven point lead at the top of Ligue 1 with only seven games left in the season. PSG have been on even better form in the Champions League, and although drawing their last two matches, they topped Group A with fifteen points, more than any other team in the Group stages. In the Round of 16 they met Valencia, and after a 2-1 win in the first leg, they drew 1-1 in the second to seal a place in the Quarterfinals. Even with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Javier Pastore and David Beckham making up their attack, they will have still a tough time qualifying for the semis, with the French side needing a win (or an unlikely 3-3 draw) to progress in the competition. Whether PSG can win or not, the match is sure to be exciting, so look out for my full time review, right here on Football Every Day!