Barcelona v PSG preview: Hosts aim to make history for quarter-final place
Last Updated: 08/03/17 6:28pm
Barcelona need to make Champions League history if they are to overturn their 4-0 first-leg deficit against PSG on Wednesday evening.
No team has ever overturned the scoreline during a second leg match after an away defeat during the knockout rounds, and if Barca are unable to do so, it will be their earliest exit in the competition in a decade.
But Luis Enrique was in a fighting mood in his pre-match press conference, refusing to accept that the tie and a place in the last eight is out of reach.
"I've been convinced for a couple of weeks that there will be a stage in the game where we will be close to achieving what we need," he said.
"If a team can score four against us then we can score six against them. The result in the first leg was very clear but this is a knock-out tie and we're only at half-time. Over 95 minutes, an infinite number of things can happen. Hopefully they will all be positive for us."
PSG are unbeaten in 16 games - winning 14 and drawing two - and have not conceded four goals in any match this season although Edinson Cavani believes the team must forget about their advantage.
"That's behind us now and we have to focus on the return match. In Paris, we showed great concentration from the first minute to the last. That's what you need to beat a team like Barcelona," he told the club's official website. "We know that their supporters will be cheering them on, but we will be ready."
Luis Enrique is set to have his pick of mostly full-strength squad for the crunch game at the Nou Camp as they look to overturn the 4-0 aggregate score.
Aleix Vidal and Jeremy Mathieu are both set to be sidelined with ankle injuries, although the remaining members of the team have trained ahead of the match.
PSG have a couple of key names that could miss out, with Thiago Motta and Angel Di Maria - who scored twice in the first leg - both injury doubts.
Adrien Rabiot has recovered from illness and is expected to start as the Ligue 1 champions look to reach the quarter-finals for the fifth season in a row.
The only time PSG eliminated Barcelona in the Champions League was in the 1994/95 quarter-finals (3-2 on aggregate). Since then, Barcelona have won their two knockout encounters with the Parisian club (2012/13, 2014/15).
Barcelona's 4-0 loss in the first leg equalled their heaviest defeat in European competition. Their previous such-defeat came in the semi-final first leg against Bayern Munich back in 2012/13 - they lost the return leg 3-0 at home.
Barcelona have progressed past the round of 16 in each of the last nine seasons, the longest run ever in the competition. The last time they failed to reach the quarter-finals was in 2006/07 against Liverpool.
PSG have also gone past the round of 16 in each of their previous four campaigns but have subsequently been knocked out in the quarter-finals.
Barcelona have won their last 14 Champions League games at the Camp Nou (44 goals scored, six conceded), all since Luis Enrique took charge. Only Bayern Munich are on a longer winning run at home in the history of the competition (16, current streak).
PSG are winless in their four Champions League away games against Barcelona (D2 L2) but they have never conceded more than three goals in those four trips.
Cavani has scored seven goals in as many games in the Champions League this season, his best tally in the competition.
Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez all played 90 minutes in the first-leg against PSG but none of them had a single shot on target.
Neymar has scored five goals in five games against PSG, his highest tally in the Champions League. He's the top goal creator in this season's competition with seven assists.
Unai Emery's team has progressed in their last 12 home/away knockout ties in Europe, all with Sevilla.
I think Barcelona will definitely win on the night but I think most of us agree PSG will score because of Luis Enrique's defence, if you can even call it that.
You can see Barca scoring three or four with the three geniuses up front but I really can't see them overturning this deficit because PSG are just too good to lose such an advantage.
They aren't a side used to sitting in and they'll score with Edison Cavani such a threat on the counter, so I can see a few goals here.
Barcelona are up against odds of 8/1 to overturn their first-leg deficit, with Sky Bet making them just 4/9 to win on the night. Unai Emery's men are 5/1 to inflict another defeat on Barca, while they're 4/1 to secure a draw, although a goalless affair is 28/1. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are 3/1 joint favourites to score first with Edinson Cavani considered the visitors' main threat at 5/1 to break the deadlock