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PSG are virtually through to the next round after a convincing first-leg performance, with the 4-1 victory particularly impressive given Barcelona’s record at the Nou Camp in recent times.
Few can forget the Catalans’ comeback in 2017, but that was achieved on home turf with a team that was only just starting to show signs of regression.
Poor recruitment and ageing star players leaves them a weaker prospect these days, while the Parisians have only grown in stature since then.
Barcelona are going to have to go on the front foot if they’re to stand a chance of progression. However, that will expose their defence, which is prone to the odd capitulation, most notably in last year’s knockouts against Bayern as they were utterly humiliated 8-2 in Lisbon.
To make matters worse, veteran centre-back Gerard Pique is sidelined along with fellow defenders Ronald Araujo and Sergi Roberto, while Jordi Alba is a doubt after coming off injured against Osasuna at the weekend.
Ronal Koeman’s problems don’t end there however as further forwards, Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho remain sidelined.
Kylian Mbappe To Score Anytime
Of course, PSG have their own major absentee in the shape of Neymar, though the Brazilian could potentially feature from the bench, but they didn’t miss him in the first leg as fellow superstar Kylian Mbappe took centre stage.
Mbappe registered a hat-trick in that encounter and will be the Parisian’s main threat here. The 22-year-old has bagged 11 goals in his past nine starts, while in his last four appearances, he’s scored seven of PSG’s 11 team goals.
He should find more opportunities against a weak defence, in what looks set to be another high-scoring encounter.
Over 3.5 Goals
These two sides have met seven times since 2014/15, with all but one of these encounters featuring at least four goals, including all three meetings since 2016/17.
PSG are frightening going forwards, but don’t exactly convince either when it comes to keeping clean sheets.
They may have three shutouts on the trot, but these were garnered over bottom-half outfits Dijon, Bordeaux and Brest, while Barcelona don’t often fail to score.
PSG To Beat Barcelona
Teams that have lost the first leg of a Champions league knockout by at least a three-goal margin at home haven’t enjoyed much success in the return legs.
In 12 such situations since 2004/05, they’ve also lost the second leg on nine occasions, and we’d expect the hosts to assert their supremacy once again.