Luis Enrique: 'Unai Emery will make things complicated'
- Author: Joanne Flowers Feb 14, 2017,
Feb 14, 2017, 19:07
Luis Enrique's men travel to the French capital for the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash on Tuesday just one point off the top of La Liga and already having booked their place in the final of the Copa del Rey.
Luis Enrique will field his strongest defense 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.
PSG is now on a four-game winning streak, but Barca is also unbeaten in 11 and has won eight of those, and Lucas believes the hosts are the underdogs.
Meanwhile, Thiago Motta will be a major miss in midfield, and Emery will be without the services of his best defensive midfielder, and should instead rely on the midfield trio of Blaise Matuidi, Marco Verratti and Adrien Rabiot. All the more so if reports are true that the captain and leader of PSG's defence, Thiago Silva, has been ruled out after suffering an injury in training.
Cristiano Ronaldo has won three of the past four, drawing within one of Messi; you wonder if there's at least one household in suburban Madrid where you'll hear the sound of champagne being uncorked if PSG upend Barcelona. The only other dilemma for the boss is whether to select Thomas Meunier or Serge Aurier at right-back. Dortmund were eventually knocked out in the semi-finals by Inter Milan.
PSG is expected to hit the pitch with 4-3-3 formation. The Catalan giants would also be without Arda Turan and Javier Mascherano.
Barcelona's Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes, however, cautioned that the French champions have quality throughout the team. In particular, Argentine star Angel Di Maria has been a big disappointment in his second season with just two goals in 20 games.
Since the summer of 2010, Cavani, who turns 30 on the day of the game, has scored 218 goals, while Luis Suarez has managed 203.
Can Messi really be stopped?
Watch this space to see how things shape out at PSG.
"With his mentality and knowledge of the game, I think we are better equipped than we have been in our recent matches against Barcelona". My head says score draw but have a slight feeling that Barcelona may edge it. PSG are capable though, and will know the importance of taking a positive result to the Camp Nou in 3 weeks time.