Paris Saint-Germain (4) x (1) FC Barcelona
Competition/Round: 2020-21 UEFA Champions League, Round of 16, Leg 2
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Gerard Piqué, Ronald Araujo, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto, Philippe Coutinho (out)
PSG Outs & Doubts: Neymar, Moise Kean, Juan Bernat (out)
Date/Time: Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Thursday)
Venue: Parc des Princes, Paris, France
Referee: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
VAR: Stuart Attwell (ENG)
How to watch on TV: TUDN (USA), BT Sport 3 (UK), SONY TEN 1 (India), Canal+ Sport 3 (Nigeria), Movistar Liga de Campeones (Spain), others
Following a comfortable win on the road against Osasuna to firmly enter the title race in La Liga, Barcelona are in Paris for what is most likely their last European night of the season as they play PSG in the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie.
Ever since the embarrassing 4-1 loss at Camp Nou that once again exposed all of Barça’s problems, there have been reasons for optimism: the Blaugrana continue to win and climb up the table in the league, they made an amazing comeback against Sevilla to reach the Copa del Rey Final, and Joan Laporta is back in charge of the club.
Laporta believes in the comeback, and he’s traveled with the team to offer his support. Barça need a 4-1 win to take it to extra time, and a 4-0 win will send them through to the quarterfinals. Other crazy results like 5-1 or 5-2 and even another 6-1 miracle like the one in 2017 are good enough to qualify, but things should be different this time. This isn’t the same Barça team from 2017, PSG are stronger and at home for the second leg, and Sergi Roberto is injured.
“But the thing about miracles is you don’t prepare for them. You don’t wait for them. They just happen.” Maybe I’m right again.
Barcelona (3-5-2): Ter Stegen; Mingueza, Lenglet, Umtiti; Dest, De Jong, Busquets, Pedri, Alba; Messi, Dembélé
PSG (4-2-3-1): Navas; Florenzi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Kurzawa; Paredes, Gueye; Di María, Verratti, Mbappé; Icardi
I’m not getting my hopes up at all over this one. I just want Barça to not be humiliated in Europe again so the Joan Laporta Era doesn’t have to start on a sour note: 1-1 draw, and a really competitive performance from Barça is good enough for me.