Champions League: Paris Saint-Germain v Barcelona match preview
A look ahead to tonight’s Champions League quarter-final at the Parc des Princes
Tuesday 02 April 2013
Barcelona will be boosted by the return of manager Tito Vilanova for their trip to the French capital. Vilanova, who has been in New York for ten weeks receiving extensive medical treatment, flew back to Spain last week and took training on both Friday and Sunday, and is expected to travel with the squad to Paris. Spanish trio Jordi Alba, Xavi and Victor Valdes all return to the squad after missing Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo, while Eric Abidal may also feature having been included in the squad for the first time on Saturday after missing ten months following a liver transplant.
For one PSG player in particular, this tie is especially significant. Outspoken Swedish frontman Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be keen to prove a point against the Catalan giants after he spent an unhappy season at Camp Nou before being transferred to Milan.
Ibrahimovic was originally scheduled to miss this clash after being sent off in the first-leg tie against Valencia, but subsequently saw his two-match European ban reduced to one. As a former Real Madrid favourite, David Beckham will presumably also be desperate to feature against his old foes.
KICK-OFF: Tuesday, 7.45pm
Barcelona 1 (Ronaldo) PSG 0, European Cup Winners Cup, May 1997
PSG 2 (Rai, Guerin) Barcelona 1 (Bakero), Champions League, knock-out phase, March 1995
Barcelona 1 (Korneev) PSG 1 (Weah), Champions League, knock-out phase, March 1995
Barcelona midfielder Xavi has completed 958 passes in the Champions League this season, the most in the competition.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s brief spell at Barcelona is widely considered to be the worst of his career, yet the Swede still managed to notch 22 goals in 46 appearances.
PSG boast a formidable 23-match unbeaten home record in European football.
If Barcelona were to lift the Champions League trophy once again this season, it would be their third European triumph in just five years. Their last taste of Champions League glory came at Wembley in 2011 and the home of English football will also host the 2013 final.
PSG to win: 5.1
Barcelona to win: 1.78
TV: Live on ITV at 7.45pm, highlights on ITV at 10.35pm.
Latest in Sport
James Rodriguez to Real Madrid: Would Colombian star fit in with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale?
William Carvalho to Arsenal? Gunners make new enquiry for £35m rated midfielder
Manchester United transfer news: More signings expected, indicates Ed Woodward
Chelsea transfer news: Completed summer deals - including Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas
Liverpool transfer news: Loic Remy, Dejan Lovren and Divock Origi on verge of Anfield moves
- 1 Saneie Masilela, 9, marries Helen Shabangu, 53 years his senior, for the second time
- 2 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 3 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 4 Man takes most pointless Uber cab ride of all time
- 5 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains