Champions League: Valencia v PSG match preview
A look ahead to tonight's European tie
Tuesday 12 February 2013
PSG travel to the Mestalla Stadium in the last-16 of the Uefa Champions League. Here we take a look ahead to tonight's match...
-This is the first ever competitive meeting between the two teams.
-Valencia have won their last eight home games against French opposition and are unbeaten in 17 games against Ligue 1 sides. Los Che are also unbeaten in their last nine home Champions League matches.
-Valencia striker Roberto Soldado has scored 14 goals in his last 14 Champions League starts.
-This season, Valencia have conceded 45 goals in 34 games in all competitions, while PSG have conceded only 16 in 30 games in Ligue 1 and the Champions League.
-Over 40 per cent of Valencia's goals scored this season have come from set-plays.
-This is the first time PSG have reached the knockout stage of the competition since the 1994-1995 season.
-Carlo Ancelotti's PSG team have won 12 of their last 13 games in all competitions.
-No French team has ever kept a clean sheet against Valencia.
-PSG forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has provided a tournament-high of five assists. The Swede has also scored twice. However, the 31-year-old will be looking to add to his 4 goals in 27 Champions League knockout stage matches.
-Valencia have a fully fit squad to choose from.
-The game has come too early for PSG's David Beckham and he will watch from the stands.
-PSG will be without their two Brazilian-born Thiagos, with Silva and Motta out of the match due to injury.
Roberto Soldado v Zlatan Ibrahimovic
For the majority of the season, the onus has been on Ibrahimovic to provide the goals for PSG. Recent world class performances for PSG and Sweden - most notably his demolition of England in November - have laid doubters to rest who claimed he didn't perform in the big matches. Tonight, PSG will need their talisman more than ever as they go in search of a first leg advantage.
PSG's reliance on Zlatan, is mirrored by Valencia's dependency on Soldado. The former Real Madrid man has scored 21 goals in 28 games and has been the fulcrum of Valencia's play this season. Different in style, the two forwards typify their sides approach to the game. PSG play with a swagger and intricacy, while Valencia do the basics well and look to outmuscle their opponents.
In a game that promises goals, tonight's match wilL hinge on the performance of Ibra and Soldado.
An exciting 2-2 draw.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic to score the first goal and the game to be a 2-2 draw: 110/1.
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