Europe – Champions League
Date: Tuesday, 10 March 2021
Kick-off at 20:00 UK/ 21:00 CET
Venue: Parc des Princes, Paris
It is not always easy going to Camp Nou to dish out a defeat to Barcelona, in fact only a few teams have been able to this this since the Messi era. So when PSG inspired Mbappe did the unthinkable the last time out winning 1-4 away at the Camp Nou.
Mbappe became just the third player of all time to score a Champions League hat-trick against Barcelona – following in the footsteps of Faustino Asprilla and Andriy Shevchenko.
His excellent form saw him score a brace in another recent cup game for the Paris based outfit. The 3-0 Coupe de France victory against Brest might only serve as a dress rehearsal for what will come in their fixture against Barcelona. However, Barcelona are no push overs and if there is any team that is experienced in overturning negative results in the Champions League, La Blaugrana is that team.
Resurgence in form has seen them climb to second place on the league table behind Atletico Madrid and two points above Real Madrid who played a 1-1 draw with the league leaders the last time out in the league.
PSG on the other hand are welcoming Barcelona to a ground where they actually lost 0-2 to title rivals Monaco in Ligue 1 the last time out. To their credit, the French champions had won six league games on the bounce prior to that loss, although they are now at risk of losing back-to-back home matches for the first time since May 2009 if Barcelona put up a fight to overturn the 1-4 away advantage they enjoy.
PSG comes into this challenge having scored 22 times in a row on home soil in the Champions League since 2015.
The hosts got a huge boost in the build up to this game as former Barcelona ace, Neymar has reportedly taken part in full training after missing a month due to a groin problem, however it remains to be seen what his level of involvement will be in the game. It will be a bitter sweet reunion for Messi and Neymar with both stars playing on opposing sides.
PSG only have two confirmed absentees for the second leg will be Moise Kean (coronavirus) and Juan Bernat (ACL).
Pochettino will also welcome back the likes of Keylor Navas, Presnel Kimpembe, Marquinhos and Layvin Kurzawa as they were rested in the cup game last time out.
Ronald Koeman’s side on the other hand continues to battle with injuries to some of their established players as Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto and Ronald Araujo have all exacerbated previous injuries following their comebacks. Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho are also out of the game.
- PSG’s form in last 5 matches: WWWLW.
- Barcelona’s form in last 5 matches: WWWWD.
PREDICTION: Over 2.5