Paris Saint-Germain vs Barcelona. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats, and more

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Who will emerge victorious in the first of the two acts of the Spanish-French spectacle?

Paris Saint-Germain FC will host FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final match at the Parc des Princes Stadium. The fixture will take place on Thursday, April 11, beginning at 00:30 IST.

Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.

Paris Saint-Germain News & Current Form: 

PSG have secured their passage to the quarterfinals of the Champions League after being eliminated twice in a row in ⅛ of the final. This time the capital club was able to overcome the obstacle in the face of Real Sociedad CF in the previous round: after unimpressive zeros on the scoreboard in the first half at the Parc des Princes, Luis Enrique’s wards achieved a comfortable victory (2:0), and in the return meeting brought it to the end (victory 1:2). 

Despite the fact that this opponent has the third most reliable defence in the current La Liga and is in the European Cup zone in the national championship. In the fall, the Red and Blues finished second in their group after Borussia Dortmund, but ahead of AC Milan and Newcastle United FC

Note that for the first time in the last three draws of the main European tournament PSG managed to reach the quarterfinals. Last time the team was able to successfully overcome this stage was in the season 2020/21.

But now they are meeting for the formidable Spanish grandee, from whom they, above all, want to take revenge for the 2016/2017 season: then the Parisians won 4:0 at home, but suffered an epic defeat 1:6 away, conceding from Barcelona twice in stoppage time. What makes the match even more crucial is the fact that Luis Enrique is playing against the club he himself coached in 2018-2019.

The last time the rivals met was in the 1/8 finals of the Champions League season 2020/2021. Then the Parisians beat the Catalans with a total score of 5:2 and knocked the Spanish club out of the European Cup.

It is worth noting that Enrique’s wards have not known setbacks since the beginning of November. By the way, the last defeat of the Parisians happened just in the main European Cup – on November 7 at San Siro from Milan (1:2). Since then, the French have been unbeaten for 27 meetings, only eight of which ended in a draw. In this interval, they managed to win the French Super Cup, pass Real Sociedad and reach the final of the Coupe de France, defeating Stade Rennais FC (1:0) at the previous stage.

In Ligue 1, the capital club is doing just fine even despite Saturday’s loss of points against bottom-of-the-table Clermont (1:1): the gap from second-placed Stade Brestois is 10 points. 

At the beginning of spring, the club met up with Montpellier Hérault SC, the match ended with a shocking score of 6:2, and Mbappe completed a hat-trick and set a personal record by scoring 250 goals in 297 games for PSG (including all tournaments in which the club played). 

Thanks to the coach, the style of the team’s football has changed: the problems and instability that occurred under previous managers have been eradicated by the former Spanish national team coach. His dominant scheme of play, based on ball control, was to the team’s liking. 

The strikers, particularly Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele, have less space and freedom of action, but they have become more involved in the development of attacks and interacting with partners. Despite some tightness, Mbappe has scored 39 goals and seven assists in 41 appearances for the Red and Blues in all competitions, while his attacking partner leads the assist list with eight assists.

Together with Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele forms an attacking vanguard of PSG

Backup goalkeeper Sergio Rico and French defender Presnel Kimpembe are still in the squad’s infirmary, while right-back Achraf Hakimi is suspended for having too many yellow cards and one of his potential replacements, Nordi Mukiele, was injured in last weekend’s game against Clermont. 

Defender Danilo Pereira, who is playing for Paris Saint-Germain, emphasises the importance of remaining calm and focused ahead of the Champions League quarter-finals:

“The coach is sending out calm vibes to us. That’s important for games like this, to be able to only think about the match. When you get to the Champions League quarter-finals, no team is your favourite. It’s a special game, because we’re two world-class teams. We’re going to try and get the win, and make our fans and everyone here in Paris happy.”

“Luis Enrique gives everyone their chance. As a player, that’s what you want. Even when things aren’t going well, we try to pick ourselves up every day and keep going. We know it’ll be a tough game. We have to win and knock out a big team. But we have to go into the game very calmly, because that’s how we can do great things.”

Barcelona News & Current Form: 

Barça returned to the quarterfinals of the Champions League after failing to progress beyond the group stage for the last two seasons. Having met with SSC Napoli in the 1/8 finals, the Blue and Granates first achieved a draw in Italy (1:1), and then took the upper hand in front of their fans in the return leg (3:1). However, unlike the Parisians, the Catalans finished top of their group in the fall, ahead of FC Porto, FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Royal Antwerp FC.

On the domestic front, Xavi’s team appear to have dropped out of contention for the La Liga title, but are in a battle for silverware with Girona FC. In addition, they crushingly lost the match for the Supercopa de España to Real Madrid CF (1:4), and also fell out of the Cup of the country.

Before the break for national team games, the Blaugrana defeated Atletico de Madrid (0:3), then won a hard-earned home victory over UD Las Palmas (1:0) thanks to a goal by Raphinha. Like the rest of La Liga, Barça did not play last weekend because of the Copa del Rey final between Athletic Bilbao and RCD Mallorca. Surprisingly, the visitors are playing better away than at home in the current campaign and have not suffered a single defeat in their last eight outings away from home. 

The Spanish side’s unbeaten streak compared to PSG is not as impressive, but still looks solid. The Catalans have been unbeaten since January 27 – the same historic evening when they lost to Villarreal CF (3:5) and Xavi announced his departure at the end of the season. 

Gavi of Barcelona is out for the rest of the season due to a serious injury sustained earlier

Since then, his charges have not looked as hopeless as they did in the first part of the season. Recently, there was even talk that Hernandez might change his mind and stay. The players see that the coach’s mood has changed recently. He cheered up, feels more relaxed and does not feel as much pressure as before, the club management also counts on the change of position of Xavi.  

In addition, the coach’s ideas and strategies have begun to materialise. It is curious, because at the beginning of the season, some of Barcelona’s leading players, including Robert Lewandowski, did not believe in them. But the Pole has gained excellent form and in the last 10 meetings in all tournaments he scored seven goals and gave three assists.

A great support to an experienced goal scorer are promising young players, whose talent has been revealed by Xavi. Brightest of all is Lamine Yamal, he took part in six of the last seven matches in the Primera, in which he recorded three goals and one assists. 

But even these intermediate results are very hard for Barcelona and require a lot of effort. For the whole season, the Catalans have suffered 24 injuries: 17 players have been injured, four have undergone surgery (Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Marcos Alonso, Alejandro Balde and Gavi). 

Right now, Ferran Torres, Pedri and Balde are listed as injured. Of the players who have undergone surgery, Gavi is the one to watch out for. At the end of last year in a UEFA EURO qualifying match against Georgia, which had no tournament significance, he suffered a terrible injury – cruciate ligament rupture – and was out for exactly six months, which was an incredible blow for the Catalans and for the entire national team. 

Luis de la Fuente, coach of the Spanish national team, sincerely hopes for a miracle and the return of Gavi in the ranks on the eve of the start of the European Championship. But it is unlikely that the young player will have time to play even the final round of La Liga.

Paris Saint-Germain form guide: D-W-W-W-W-D

Barcelona form guide: W-D-W-W-W-W

Paris Saint-Germain vs Barcelona Head-To-Head Record:

Paris Saint-GermainDrawBarcelona
  • March 8, 2017: Barcelona 6 – 1 PSG (UEFA Champions League);
  • February 16, 2021: Barcelona 1 – 4 PSG (UEFA Champions League);
  • March 10, 2021: PSG 1 – 1 Barcelona (UEFA Champions League).

Paris Saint-Germain vs Barcelona Predicted XI:

Paris Saint-Germain’s possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Zaire-Emery, Marquinhos, Skriniar, Mendes; Lee, Ugarte, Vitinha; Dembele, Ramos, Mbappe.

Barcelona’s possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Kounde, Cubarsi, Araujo, Cancelo; De Jong, Gundogan, Lopez; Yamal, Lewandowski, Raphinha.

Statistical preview of the match Paris Saint-Germain vs Barcelona:

  • PSG’s First XI average age is 24.8 years, Barcelona’s First XI average age is 27.1 years.
  • The total value of the French squad is 1.02 bln euros, while the total of the Spanish comes up to 839 mln euros.
  • Anthony Taylor has been appointed as the centre referee. The referee has already served 35 games this season, showing an average of 5 yellow cards and also whistles 22 fouls per game. 
  • In the Champions League, PSG score an average of 2.75 goals per game. 
  • The visitors now have a streak of 4 consecutive wins, with Yamal and Lewandowski scoring quite a lot. The visitors have scored at least 3 goals in 5 of their 8 games in the Champions League. 
  • 14, 16 and 17 corner kicks were served cumulatively during PSG matches against Borussia Dortmund, Milan and Real Sociedad in Paris. If you consider Barcelona’s away matches, the average is 9.5 corner kicks. 
  • If we take PSG’s home matches in the Champions League, the average total is exactly 2 yellow cards per game. 
  • Barcelona both in La Liga and in the Champions League plays quite rough due to high pressing: the average total is 3.25 cards.
  • Barça have the second highest possession count in Europe (64%), only topped by PSG themselves with 65.86%. 
  • Barça has three players who have been on for more than 3,000 minutes this season: Ilkay Gündoğan with 3,465, Jules Kounde with 3,261 and Lewandowski with 3,100, while only Kylian Mbappé (3,193) and goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma (3,070) have done so for PSG.
  • In the UEFA’s club ranking, Barça are only twelfth, while Parisians go in the main fourth spot, next to the leaders.
  • PSG had the only UCL final in their history in 2020, in which they lost to FC Bayern Munich.

What has been said before the match:

Luis Enrique, the manager of PSG, expresses confidence in his team’s collective spirit and readiness for the upcoming match:

“I think we’re in a good situation this season, with a very good collective spirit, and this tie comes at a time when we’re feeling good. There’s no away goals rule, so I’m really looking forward to playing this game at home, I know there’ll be an extraordinary atmosphere. But the order of the games doesn’t really matter to us; our sole aim is to win.”

“I hope the ambition will be bigger than the pressure. We’re happy to play at this level, and we want to qualify for the semi-finals. In the group phase, I saw a lot of good things, others not so good. But today we are very ambitious for tomorrow’s game, and we want to play to win and qualify.”

“I had Xavi as a teammate, and as a player I coached, but I don’t know him as a coach. I know the club well, but I don’t know if that will really be an advantage. It’ll be a great experience for me, but I’m ready to give everything that’s required for PSG to win and qualify.”

“We want to apply attacking pressure, to keep the ball. But so many things can happen in a game. They’re two similar teams in terms of their approach to the game. It’ll be two very similar types of football. Some think we’re favourites, others no, but it’s not important. We above all have to think of our game, about what we’re going to do to win.”

Xavi Hernández, the coach of Barcelona, expresses excitement about reaching the Champions League quarter-finals after a four-year absence:

“After four years without being in the quarter-finals, the word is excitement. We are looking forward to a great tie and being in the semi-finals. We are really motivated seeing how the players are training and competing. PSG have a team made to win the Champions League and they have one of the best coaches in the world, Luis Enrique.” 

“I think PSG are favourites because they took one of our best players. They have Mbappé, Dembélé, Kolo Muani, Vitinha. We have to avoid their counter attacks, being aware and at our very best defensively.”

“Luis Enrique’s teams are perhaps the most intense that there are. I have played under him. It was a difficult season at the start but then it all came together and ended in spectacular fashion with the treble and lifting the Champions League trophy as captain. I think I helped him a lot at a difficult tie.”

Paris Saint-Germain vs Barcelona Prediction:

We are facing a principled game with a lot of sentiment and emotion from attack-minded clubs who want to gain a comfortable advantage before the return leg.

PSG’s solid lead in Ligue 1 allows the team to fully focus on playing in their most important competition, channelling maximum resources for the upcoming match. Luis Enrique rested all of his key players in the last French league game against Clermont Foot knowing that he would only have 3 days to prepare for Barcelona. The French are approaching the game on a good run and full of confidence: 27 matches without defeat in all tournaments, 2.4 goals scored with 0.8 conceded on average, spending 65% of the time in possession. The Parisians will host the Catalans with an optimal squad and, most importantly, their joker in the figure of Kylian Mbappe, is in top form, while being highly motivated to produce his best performances to help the club finally lift the much coveted UCL trophy before leaving for Real Madrid. The French striker is extremely difficult to contain, with Mbappe scoring 3 of PSG’s 4 goals in the 1/8 stage against Real Sociedad. At the same time, the hosts’ attack is multifaceted and quite versatile if Barcelona try to neutralise the main threat. The defence will provide the needed reliability for bold attacking manoeuvres, with Luis Enrique’s trademark ball control at their disposal and generally consistent performances over the long distance. The Parisians have recorded a clean sheet in two of their last 3 matches, and in the current UCL draw Paris Saint-Germain have only conceded once on their home soil.

Barcelona were able to re-energise after the announcement of Xavi’s departure at the end of the season, the Catalans started to produce good performances one after another, now on an 11-match unbeaten streak in all tournaments. The Blaugrana also tend to control the game through ball possession (64%), score an average of 2 goals and concede 1.2 goals per game in all tournaments. The visitors had much more time to prepare (11 days), but still, Xavi has a big problem with the choice of players in the centre of the pitch. After Gavi’s injury, Christensen played in the centre, but now the Dane is also injured and Romeu is not inspiring confidence. In addition, the Catalan club has a poor away record in the Champions League playoffs – the team have won only once in their last 11 away appearances. The game against PSG is expected to be very challenging.

Both teams have an attacking inclination, approach the meeting with long unbeaten streaks and their leading strikers are on the rise. In the recent history of their rivalry, goals have been exchanged in 8 of the 10 head-to-head meetings in Europe’s premier tournament. In the three out of four previous showdowns between the opponents, at least four goals have been scored. Yet this time, given that it’s a knockout match of the advanced UCL stage, both teams will prefer to play cautiously – there’s no need for them to open up too much in the first meeting. At the moment there’s no clear favourite, and the coaches will approach the match pragmatically. Only in 2 of the last 8 matches Barcelona have seen more than 3 goals netted, while PSG have seen low-scoring matches in their last three meetings. 

Parimatch News staff prediction:

We say: Both teams will score and the match total will be under 3.5 – Yes.

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