After the success of AS Monaco on Tuesday night, a key week for French football continues on Wednesday night as Paris Saint-Germain take on Barcelona.
When the Parisians won the first game 3-2 in September, former Chelsea defender David Luiz was key to the success, and the Brazilian will need to be at his best once again if the French club want to finish top of Group F.
David Luiz will be starting beside his international teammate Thiago Silva for Wednesday night’s test against the trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar. In the first game at the Parc des Princes, Barcelona were without Uruguayan Suarez, but PSG were also without Silva. It is set up to be a fantastic battle at the Camp Nou.
The only player missing from PSG’s squad is young forward Jean-Christophe Bahebeck so it means that Laurent Blanc will be able to call upon his superstar forwards Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Lucas Moura.
Both Ibrahimovic and Cavani are back to full fitness and will take on the unconvincing Barcelona defence to see if they can finish in first place in the group.
Barcelona and PSG were expected to qualify from the group, but the Spanish side were favourites to finish top. The win for PSG in Paris gave them the advantage and they have yet to slip up.
Spanish coach Luis Enrique has a few players missing for Wednesday night, all affecting the defence. Brazilians Dani Alves and Rafinha are suspended for the game and former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen is out through injury.
Another Brazilian, Adriano, should play at right-back, and it will be either Javier Mascherano or Gerald Pique beside Jeremy Mathieu in the centre of the defence.
This could be PSG’s best chance of troubling the Spanish giants. Rather than sitting back and trying to stop Barcelona’s stars, the best form of defence for the French side will be to take the game to Barca.
Finishing first isn’t just about facing a so-called weaker side in the competition, but it guarantees you play the second leg at home, and in this competition home advantage still plays a key role in going all the way.