A draw likely again in PSG and Barca Champions League showdown
PSG (23/10 to win) have drawn 1-1 in four out of their last five matches in all competitions this season, which has seen them drop down to fourth place in Ligue 1 and five points behind leaders Marseille. However, that result again in the Champions League at home to Catalan giants Barcelona would be creditable.
The duo last met two seasons ago in the quarter-finals of this competition, with the scoreline again being 1-1, so take tempting odds of 11/2 for them to achieve that once more. They also drew in the first leg, so take a price of 12/5 just for another share of the spoils.
It is away team Barca, though, who go into this encounter as 23/20 favourites for victory, given that they have enjoyed a great start to the season, as they top La Liga and beat APOEL Nicosia in their opening Champions League group game. Remarkably, Luis Enrique’s men have not conceded this season in all competitions from seven matches, and have odds of 16/5 to win to nil again, and 11/5 just to keep a clean sheet. A 0-0 draw, meanwhile, is 12/1.
The main man PSG had hoped to stop Barca’s demolition of sides this term was former Nou Camp dweller Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was on target against his old side in 2012/13. However, the superstar Swedish striker, who has five goals already this term in the league, has been ruled out due to a heel injury.
Former France boss Laurent Blanc said on Ibrahimovic earlier in the week: “We have some hope of getting him back for Barcelona.” The manager also bad news regarding a potential comeback for captain Thiago Silva, who has yet to feature this term due to a hamstring problem suffered in pre-season.
Blanc added: “We are following the evolution of [Silva’s] injury on a daily basis but he is not ready. His injury is evolving positively but slowly. We have no exact date for his return.”
Barca coach Enrique also spoke about Ibrahimovic’s possible absence, saying: “If [Ibrahimovic] is injured he’s a very important loss to the team. I think they are a team that is going to come at us thinking they can get a result.
“I have watched a couple of PSG’s matches. I have watched them against Ajax and they are one of the teams who could win the Champions League this season. They have a really good side on attack and are very strong at the back.
“They have many solutions on the pitch. It’s obvious they depend on Ibrahimovic but they have also [Edinson] Cavani.”
Uruguayan Cavani will will be the an to step up, having scored four times this term so far, he is 7/4 to net anytime.
Enrique will not be dwelling to much on the opposition, though, and can rely on his very own superstar, a certain Lionel Messi, who comes into this game on the back of surpassing 400th career goals for club and country.
The Argentine wizard, still just 27, has also scored five times this season, and is a 6/5 chance to net again, or a more enticing 6/1 to bag a brace or better.
Messi’s partner in crime Neymar hit a hat-trick last time out as well, and the Brazilian is 28/1 to do so at the Parc des Princes as well, or 6/4 to get a goal anytime.
Former Premier League players who could be involved in this fixture include Yohan Cabaye and David Luiz for PSG, and Thomas Vermaelen and Javier Mascherano for Barcelona. They are 5/1, 7/1, 9/1 and 16/1 respectively top score anytime. Other ex-Barca players on show for the home side, meanwhile, are Thiago Motta (6/1 to net anytime) and Maxwell (16/1).