Sunday, March 7, 2021

Prediction: Barcelona vs PSG

Verdict: Over 1.5 goals in first-half

Best Odds: 6/5

Bookmaker: Unibet

In what is a mouthwatering affair on Tuesday night, Barcelona will welcome PSG to an empty Nou Camp for the first-leg of their Champions League knockout tie.

Barcelona

Starting with the hosts, while Barcelona might have suffered a 2-0 loss away at Sevilla last week on Copa del Rey duties, the Spanish giants managed to make an empathic return to winning ways. Eventually breezing their way to a 5-1 romp against Alaves on home soil over the weekend, Ronald Koeman will be desperate for his side to keep up that momentum in midweek. Although many around Catalonia might still need convincing by the former Holland boss, Barca have won seven of their last eight matchups across all formats. Playing their way back up to third in the La Liga table, Tuesday’s hosts will undoubtedly be calling on attacking talisman Lionel Messi to spearhead their charge at the Nou Camp. While the 33-year-old’s future in Catalonia might still be up in the air, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner once again bagged himself a brace over the weekend and has continued on a real purple patch. Along with landing 19 goals across all competitions this season, Messi also has nine strikes in as many appearances.

Team News

Barcelona will once again be without the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Martin Braithwaite, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and Ronald Araujo.

However, in what could be a real boost for Tuesday’s hosts, Gerard Pique is back in training and could make his shock return in midweek.

PSG

As for the visitors, after drawing a close to January with a stunning 3-2 defeat away at Ligue 1 returners Lorient, Mauricio Pochettino’s new squad have managed to once again find their feet. Although they might not have once again been at their best last weekend, the former Tottenham boss did see his side snatch a late 2-1 victory at home against Nice. However, while the French giants might have managed to reach their first-ever Champions League final under Thomas Tuchel last summer, Les Parisiens are in an uphill battle to defend their Ligue 1 crown. Still sat second in the table and a point adrift of Lille, the Blues will be hoping to make a real European statement at the Nou Camp. Without attacking talisman Neymar in midweek, Pochettino will undoubtedly be calling on another one of his superstars to spearhead their charge. With four goals in his last five matchups, Kylian Mbappe was also last seen on Champions League duties bagging a brace against Istanbul Basaksehir.

Team News

In a real injury blow to the French champions, PSG have confirmed that former Barcelona star Neymar will miss out at the Nou Camp this week.

Argentina winger Angel Di Maria will miss out on Tuesday night. Marco Verratti, Rafinha and Colin Dagba are also doubts.

Key Factors to Consider

    • In Barcelona’s last Champions League group stage fixture back in December, they suffered a 3-0 drumming at home against Juventus.
    • However, Tuesday’s hosts have won seven of their last eight matchups across all formats.
    • Lionel Messi has bagged himself nine goals in as many appearances.
    • Including a 2-1 win against Nice over the weekend, PSG have won each of their last four contests.
    • Five of the last six meetings between Barcelona and PSG has seen over 2.5 goals by the final whistle.

    Conclusion

    On paper, we could have quite the contest at the Nou Camp on Tuesday night. While both sides might have managed to enjoy extended winning runs over the past six weeks, Barcelona and PSG have shown a host of issues this season, particularly at the back. With Barca suffering that stunning 3-0 drumming when they welcomed Juventus to Catalonia for their final group stage matchup, don’t be surprised to see chances come thick and fast in midweek. With both Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe enjoying their own purple patches ahead of Tuesday’s mouthwatering showdown, PSG and Barcelona have a habit of producing fireworks. With five of the last six meetings between the two sides seeing over 2.5 goals, we’re expecting a similar lively affair.

    Verdict: Over 1.5 goals in first-half

    Best Odds: 6/5

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

    SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

    WE RECOMMEND

    Leave a Reply

    avatar
     
    smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
      Subscribe  
    Notify of
    Live Scores

    advertisement

    Betting Guide Advertisement

    advertisement

    Become a Writer
    More More
    Top