We meet once again ! FC Barcelona receives Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday for the knockout stages of the Champions League. The two teams, who have faced each other in the past, know each other quite well. State of play before this meeting.
The specter of the comeback is always present in the memories of all football lovers. However, the confrontations between FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are not limited to this meeting. In history, the two teams have faced each other eleven times. And in this duel, it is rather the Catalan club that has the advantage, with a record of five wins, three draws and three defeats. Another statistic may worry the Parisians: in the Champions League, the capital club faced FC Barcelona three times in knockout matches. And he qualified only once, in 1995. Mauricio Pochettino’s men will have to draw inspiration from their elders to beat Barça and validate their ticket for the quarter-finals.
“As usual“Claude François hummed at the end of the 1960s. This song sticks to the skin of Paris Saint-Germain. Every year, as the knockout stages of the Champions League approach, the capital club finds itself with a swarm of absentees. This year is no exception to the rule. The French club is deprived of Neymar and Angel Di Maria, two important players for the Parisian collective, before facing FC Barcelona in the queen competition. thigh, the Brazilian came out with injury against Caen, in the Coupe de France, Wednesday February 10 and should miss four weeks of competition. The former Real Madrid player came out in the Classic against Marseille, on February 7, after having was hit in the right thigh. Asked about this at a press conference, Mauricio Pochettino is optimistic: “We cannot go back, we have lost two important elements for the next matches but we have a squad with quality. We have great confidence in finding the necessary solutions to face the upcoming matches, whether in Ligue 1 or in the Champions League. “The Argentine coach will have to redouble his imagination to find his offensive creator, against FC Barcelona.
On the other side of the Pyrenees, FC Barcelona shines with its irregularity since the start of the season. If the club coached by Ronald Koeman has had very satisfactory victories in recent weeks, as against Deportivo Alavés on Sunday February 14 (5-1) in La Liga or Granada in the Copa del Rey after a spectacular comeback (3-5), it tends to sin in great encounters. Against the top 5 of La Liga, the Blaugranas have a record of one victory (against Real Sociedad), one draw (against Sevilla FC) and two defeats (against Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid) . However, Lionel Messi’s teammates are making progress. In the game, with the returns in form of Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong, but also in the results: in the last eleven meetings, the Catalan club have recorded eight victories in all competitions. What to give confidence before the match against Paris Saint-Germain.
“It’s time for me to take more responsibility“, proclaimed Kylian Mbappé, at the end of the evening of the UNFP trophies in 2019. Without injured Neymar, the Frenchman will have to show the way to the Parisians, against FC Barcelona. Especially since the striker is having a fairly long season. Criticized in recent months for his performance, the former AS Monaco player responded in the best possible way against Montpellier, on January 22, by scoring a double. “The truth is, I was no good. Lots of criticism was justified. (…) I knew it was a passage that was going to happen. You have to take refuge in work “, had explained the French international to the Téléfoot channel, after the meeting, against the Hérault club. Despite a downturn, the 22-year-old still has convincing statistics: he scored 16 goals in 21 Ligue 1 matches. He will have to help his team to score at Camp Nou, to take the advantage in these round of 16. final.
On the side of FC Barcelona, the man to follow is always the same: Lionel Messi. After a summer agitated by rumors of departure, the “Pulga” have regained their level of play and remain the main danger for the Catalan club. In the system advocated by Ronald Koeman, the six-fold Ballon d’Or has forged a real technical relationship with Pedri and Frenkie de Jong. Author of 15 goals in 20 La Liga matches, the Argentine is still the custodian of Barça’s game. “When you look for it between the lines, it looks for depth, everything becomes easier. Its vista is impressive. To aspire for something and win this game [contre le PSG], we will need not only a great Leo, but also everyone else in their best shape“, explained the Dutch coach at a press conference, after the victory against Deportivo Alavés. If the Argentine is talking about him at the sporting level, he also attracts speculation from the press about his future. contract next June, the native of Rosario is announced close to Paris Saint-Germain, with insistence, a fact that can create tensions between the management of Barça and Lionel Messi, before meeting the Parisian club.