Sunday, May 26, 2024

Prediction: Barcelona vs PSG

Verdict: Both teams to score in the second-half

Best Odds: 6/4

Bookmaker: Luckster

Looking to officially punch a Champions League semi-final ticket on Tuesday night, Barcelona will welcome PSG to Catalonia for their second-leg showdown.

Barcelona

Starting with the hosts, while Barcelona might have been tipped as a real underdog by many when they arrived in Paris last week, the Spanish icons certainly made a major statement. Eventually clinching an action-packed 3-2 victory, Xavi’s men will be looking to finish off the job and collect a major Champions League scalp here. Although the reigning La Liga champions might have long since accepted that they will be relinquishing their European crown this season, Barca find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high. Causing PSG a string of issues last week, Barca will certainly be excited to make a return to Catalonia here. Gaining a real reputation for their extended success on home soil, Xavi’s men have not suffered a single loss in front of their own supporters since the end of January.

Team News

Despite bagging a dramatic late winner in Paris last weekend, former Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen will miss out on Tuesday night as the Danish defender is set to serve a one-match suspension. However, serving his own respective domestic ban over the weekend, Polish record-breaker Robert Lewandowski will spearhead Xavi’s attack.

Dealing with a long-term knee injury and not set to feature over the remainder of the season, midfield talisman Gavi will not feature in Catalonia. Bagging a first-leg brace in Paris last week, former Leeds star Raphinha could play a leading role here.

PSG

As for the visitors, while PSG might be cruising their way to another domestic crown this season, it is no secret that Luis Enrique has found a huge amount of scrutiny over his long-term future in Paris. With the French giants making it clear that a maiden Champions League crown is at the top of their agenda, the former Barcelona boss faces what is a season-defining trip back to Catalonia on Tuesday night. Despite suffering just a single defeat across any competition since a 2-1 loss away at AC Milan on November 7th, PSG have shown some extended defensive inconsistencies. Suffering major first-leg frustration on home soil last week as they suffered that 3-2 defeat, Enrique’s men have recorded just a pair of clean sheets from any of their previous eight appearances on either side of March’s international break.

Team News

In what will certainly be a huge boost for PSG on Tuesday night, Morocco international Achraf Hakimi should make a full return after serving a one-match suspension last week. However, both still dealing with respective long-term issues, the duo of Presnel Kimpembe and Layvin Kurzawa will not travel to Catalonia.

Forced to settle for a spot on the bench in first-leg action last week, 18-year-old sensation Warren Zaire-Emery should be handed a full recall. While attacking talisman Kylian Mbappe might have bagged just a single goal in any of his last six appearances for club and country, the French skipper will spearhead PSG’s charge.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When Barcelona and PSG met for their first-leg meeting in Paris last week, Tuesday’s hosts claimed a thrilling 3-2 victory on foreign soil.
    • Barca have won all of their previous four showdowns in Catalonia by an aggregate score of 9-1.
    • PSG have recorded just a pair of clean sheets from any of their previous eight appearances across all competitions.
    • Likewise, the French giants have recorded just a single clean sheet from their last six Champions League appearances.
    • All of the last four meetings between Barcelona and PSG have finished with both teams finding the net.

    Conclusion

    With the two European heavyweights playing out a real five-goal thriller when they met for their first-leg meeting in Paris last week, neutrals will be hoping for a similar affair on Tuesday night. With Barcelona holding a slender one-goal lead after claiming that dramatic 3-2 victory on foreign soil, chances could come thick and fast in Catalonia. Likewise, with all of the last four meetings between the Champions League quarter-finalists finishing with both teams finding the net, we are expecting a similar outcome here.

    Verdict: Both teams to score in the second-half

    Best Odds: 6/4

    Bookmaker: Luckster

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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