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UEFA Champions League preview: Paris Saint-Germain v Valencia

Valencia take their last-minute lifeline to Paris on Wednesday in a bid to overhaul PSG’s 2-1 lead in the Champions League round of 16.

Adil Rami’s stoppage-time strike in the first leg avoided complete catastrophe for Valencia and changed the complexion of the Parc des Princes return fixture, but the advantage still lies clearly with Carlo Ancelotti’s PSG.

What looked like an emphatic away performance from PSG at the Mestalla was eventually muddied by Rami’s strike and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s petulant challenge, which drew a red card in the last minute.

Those factors will give Ernesto Valverde’s side more than a glimmer of hope, with Swedish striker Ibrahimovic banned for the clash, along with midfielder Marco Veratti.

Ibrahimovic’s absence will leave a hole in PSG’s attack, with their leading scorer having netted 22 goals in the league and two in the Champions League so far this season.

But Valencia will head to Paris with PSG’s two away goals meaning they must score at least twice themselves if they are to progress.

The Spanish side are in good form, with just one loss in their past five fixtures in all competitions.

But Valencia will be shorthanded in defence, injuries meaning Jeremy Mathieu and Victor Ruiz could form a makeshift central defence.

Meanwhile, PSG’s Brazilian defender Thiago Silva is a doubt with injury while David Beckham is likely to start on the bench.

The match will be Valencia’s first in Paris since their 2000 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

Tue 5 Mar, 2013
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