After a 3-1 victory at the Parc des Princes last week, many football pundits agree that Barca are already halfway to making it through the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League. This week they’ll host the second leg of their quarterfinal series against PSG at the Nou Camp. The Parisians need to score at least three more goals than Barca in this match to advance to the semis. It sounds like a tall order, but in football anything can happen.
Barcelona’s 1-3 win in Paris
With the absence of some key PSG players, Barcelona were able to claim an easy victory in the first leg. Neymar opened the scoring for Barca on the 18th minute and Luis Suarez added two more goals in the second half to make it 3-0. On the 82nd minute, a strike from PSG defender Gregory Van Der Wiel took a deflection on Jeremy Matthieu of Barca and it unfortunately hit the back of the net giving the Parisians a consolation goal. The match ended 1-3 in favour of Barca.
In this match, Barcelona clearly took advantage of the poor PSG defending especially of David Luiz who wasn’t expected to play here because of a thigh injury. Barcelona’s forwards were relentless in their attacks and PSG who were missing Ibrahimovic and Verratti were unable to provide an answer to the goals scored by the Catalans. Cavani showed flashes of brilliance with several good attempts during the match, but was clearly lacking support up front.
What could happen at the Camp Nou
Ibrahimovic and Verratti will be back in action for PSG this week after serving their one match ban. Hopefully, they can score enough goals so PSG can advance to the semis. However, the chances of this from happening are very slim as Barca have only lost once in their last 31 home matches in the Champions League. PSG haven’t won a match in Camp Nou recently and the best result they had so far here was a 1-1 draw in 2013. PSG literally need a miracle to happen in Barcelona to avoid elimination in this stage. They don’t just need a win here; they must do better than Barca’s 3-1 win in Paris last week. Many people will agree that this is almost an impossible mission especially at Camp Nou.
For the home side, Barcelona are expected to field in their usual line-up on this match. Dani Alvez who also served a one match ban will be back to reinforce their backline next week. Messi, Neymar and Suarez are also expected to wreak havoc again on the front line for Barca. I don’t think they will lay back on their attack here and be defensive. I’m sure they’ll continue with their aggressiveness in this match and score more goals.