- Venue: Parc des Princes
- Date: Tuesday 2nd April
- K/o: 19:45
Paris Saint-Germain will have their influential striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic available to face his former club in tonight’s first leg Quarter-Final clash with Barcelona in the Champions League.
The Swede had his two-match European bad reduced to a single game recently, which he has already served.
Lucas Moura is fit again following a back complaint but Italian Thiago Motta misses out with a groin injury.
Former Real Madrid star David Beckham will be looking to make an impact from the bench.
Barcelona will welcome back Javier Mascherano, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and David Villa after the quartet were rested at the weekend, while Xavi and Jordi Alba have recovered from hamstring problems.
The La Liga leaders will however be without Pedro, who is missing through suspension, while Carles Puyol and Adriano have not travelled to the French capital as they continue to nurse injuries.
Paris Saint-Germain will be hoping lightning strikes twice this evening as they attempt to negotiate a route through to what would be only their second ever appearance in the last four of Europe’s elite tournament.
The last time the French outfit made the semi-finals of the Champions League, they disposed of Barcelona in the quarter-finals, but that was almost twenty years ago.
A lot has changed since. The take-over by Qatar Sports Investments in August 2011 has heralded a brand new dawn at the Paris club, and much like Premier League side Manchester City, PSG have been able to attract some of the world’s finest talents, such as Ibrahimovic, Lucas Moura and, yes, David Beckham.
But for their galaxy of stars, they know tonight’s opponents Barcelona have an equally as glittering side.
The Catalans do however come into this tie in a poor run of form. They only narrowly progressed past AC Milan in the last-16 last month, and have won just twice from their last eight matches on the road.
However, the Spanish giants have an imperious record at this stage of the competition. They have won their last six Champions League quarter-finals and their last defeat at this stage came back in 2003 against Juventus.
They are also looking to win the Champions League for the fourth time in eight seasons.
They will be further boosted by the happy news that coach Tito Vilanova will be on the bench tonight for the first time this year as he continues his recovery from cancer.
Sirigu, Silva, Alex, Maxwell, van der Wiel, Moura, Chantome, Veratti, Pastore, Menez, Ibrahimovic
Valdes, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Sanchez, Messi, Villa
Source: Sky Sports
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This article was first posted on April 2, 2013