PSG's Lucas Dread Messi ahead of Last 16 Clash with Barca

Feb 15, 2017, 00:28
PSG's Lucas Dread Messi ahead of Last 16 Clash with Barca

"PSG have plenty of experience in the Champions League, which is important". They won both games earlier this season against another Lisbon side, Sporting (2-1 in Portugal, 1-0 at home). "Form goes up and down over a season, but PSG have raised their game to a very high level recently".

It was a night to remember for the Uruguayan: his 30th birthday, his first goal against Barcelona and a goal to top his best-ever Champions League tally in a season. I spent almost three years there.

Emery's future will likely depend on whether it can get past Barcelona in the round of 16 of the Champions League, which begins with the first leg on Tuesday. The Italian global spoke about Barcelona's attacking potency and how to deal with the MSN: "All three of them are in the top five forwards in the world", he said.

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In fairness, Neymar relishes the big occasion and has notched five times in his four appearances against PSG, so it would be no surprise to see him come up trumps again for Enrique in France.

Luis Enrique will field his strongest defence with Gerard Pique back after being rested in Barca's 6-0 win away to Alaves on Saturday along with Sergi Roberto, Jordi Alba and Samuel Umtiti.

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That result means Luis Enrique's side have now lost just once in 22 games although it was overshadowed by a terrible ankle injury suffered by right-back Aleix Vidal which rules him out for the rest of the season.

The centre-half, like his club-mates, has bad memories of Barcelona in knockout play as he injured his thigh after 20 minutes of the quarter-final first leg as PSG exited the competition at the last-eight stage to Barça for the second time in three years.

PSG have never kept a clean sheet against Barcelona (nine games in all competitions). One thing that is positive is that the super trio SMN (Suarez, Messi and Neymar) are going to hit the pitch.

Two Spaniards for whom - in this era of instant results, outsized expectations and managerial churn - this Champions League clash will help make or break a season and possibly determine their future.

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