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.
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