French Champions PSG welcome Barcelona in the Match Day 2 fixture of the UEFA Champions League Group F in Paris.
The biggest talking point about this clash has been revolving around the fitness of Sweden hitman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has been ruled out with a heel injury. The former Barcelona striker, who missed his sides’ last two Ligue 1 encounters, won’t be available for selection for Laurent Blanc, leaving the Frenchman with a severe blow to deal ahead of this crucial encounter.
Les Parisiens’ start to the Ligue 1 has been far from convincing, with the French capital side winning just 3 out of the 8 fixtures played. Although, like their Tuesday’s opponents, they are unbeaten in the league. PSG were denied a victory by Ajax in the first encounter of the group stage which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Barcelona meanwhile come into this game back of a 6-0 thrashing of Granada in the La Liga. Neymar netted a hat-trick, while Lionel Messi bagged the 400th goal of his career with a double against the struggling Spanish side. Unbeaten in the league with 16 points out of a possible 18, the Catalans have looked like a new side altogether under the tutelage of new manager Luis Enrique, and are yet to concede a single goal in all competitions, speaking volumes of the effect of their former striker has had.
Along with Ibrahimovic, PSG will have to deal without the services of captain, Thiago Silva. The Brazilian has been out of action since the last month due to a hamstring injury he incurred against his sides’ friendly against Napoli. Apart from the suspended Luis Suarez, Barcelona on the other hand has a fully fit squad to select from. New summer recruit Thomas Vermaelen is back from the injury that prevented the Belgian to debut for the Blaugrana.
PSG (4-3-3) : Sirigu; van der Wiel, Marquinhos, David Luiz, Maxwell; Matuidi, Verratti Thiago Motta; Lucas, Cavani, Pastore.
Barcelona (4-3-3) : Bravo; Dani Alves, Mascherano, Mathieu, Jordi Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Neymar.