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UEFA Champions League Quarter-final Leg 2: Barcelona vs PSG Preview & Lineups

Camp Nou Braces for Battle: Barcelona Hold Narrow Lead Over PSG in Champions League Decider

The magic of the Champions League returns to Camp Nou on Tuesday night as Barcelona hosts Paris Saint-Germain for the second leg of their quarter-final tie. Xavi's Blaugrana hold a slender 3-2 advantage from the first leg in Paris, but PSG, fueled by their attacking prowess, will be all out to overturn the deficit and book their place in the semi-finals.

Barcelona Aiming for Semi-Final Return

Barcelona are on a high after their first-leg victory. Robert Lewandowski's clinical finishing and a youthful exuberance from Pedri and Gavi have injected new life into the Catalan giants. However, injuries to key defenders Christensen and Sergi Roberto are a concern, forcing Xavi to potentially reshuffle his backline. The Camp Nou faithful will be expecting a strong performance to see their team reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2019.

PSG Determined to Force a Comeback

Despite the first-leg defeat, PSG remain a dangerous force. Kylian Mbappé's electrifying pace and Lionel Messi's experience will be a constant threat to the Barcelona defense. The return of Marco Verratti to midfield will bolster their control in the center of the park. Coach Mauricio Pochettino will be urging his team to play with attacking intent and exploit any weaknesses in the Barcelona backline.

Predicted Lineups

Barcelona (4-3-3):

  • Goalkeeper: Marc-Andre ter Stegen
  • Defenders: Jules Kounde, Ronald Araujo, Eric Garcia, Joao Cancelo
  • Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong, Ilkay Gundogan, Pedri
  • Forwards: Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, Lamine Yamal

Paris Saint-Germain (4-3-3):

  • Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma
  • Defenders: Achraf Hakimi, Marquinhos (C), Presnel Kimpembe, Juan Bernat
  • Midfielders: Marco Verratti, Leandro Paredes, Georginio Wijnaldum
  • Forwards: Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé, Neymar Jr.

Key Matchups

  • Robert Lewandowski vs Marquinhos: The battle between Barcelona's lethal striker and PSG's captain will be pivotal. Can Marquinhos contain Lewandowski's movement and finishing?
  • Frenkie de Jong vs Marco Verratti: The midfield duel between these two playmakers will dictate the flow of the game. De Jong's creativity needs to counter Verratti's ability to control the tempo.
  • Kylian Mbappé vs Jules Kounde: The electric pace of Mbappé will be a constant threat to Barcelona's defense. Can Kounde's defensive awareness and pace contain the young French star?

Prediction

The Camp Nou atmosphere is sure to be electric. Barcelona will look to defend their lead and utilize their home advantage. However, PSG's firepower and experience in the Champions League cannot be underestimated. This promises to be a thrilling encounter, with a narrow win for either side or a dramatic penalty shootout a distinct possibility. Don't miss this Champions League classic as both teams battle for a place in the semi-finals!

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