FC Barcelona will attempt their second comeback in a week when they take on Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Last time, the Blaugrana overturned a 2-0 deficit against Sevilla to advance to the Copa del Rey final by way of a dramatic 3-0 extra time romp over the Europa League holders.
The mountain is far tougher and higher to climb on this occasion, however, as standing in the way of progress to the quarterfinals are the much more talent-packed Ligue 1 holders cushioning a 4-1 advantage.
Those goals – three of which came from Kylian Mbappe – of course hold more weight in being scored away from home at the Camp Nou. Barca need to notch at least four themselves then to advance and, in taking courage from their recent exploits, coach Ronald Koeman is keeping the faith.
“The comeback in the cup has given us a lot of confidence although we know this is a very different situation But we can give it our best shot. A lot depends on how we start the game. We always create chances, the thing is that we need to take them,” he said yesterday at his prematch press conference.
“PSG are a candidate to win the Champions League. We need to play the perfect game and that’s what we’ll try to do,” Koeman vowed.
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Koeman sticking with the 3-5-2, Marc Andre Ter Stegen will start in goal with a back line of central defenders Samuel Umtiti, Clement Lenglet and Oscar Mingueza.
There will be support from wingbacks Sergino Dest and Jordi Alba, however, who will feed a midfield trio of Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri.
Given the election of president Joan Laporta, it is looking increasingly likely that this won’t be Lionel Messi’s last appearance for the club on the continent if they crash out.
Free to walk in the summer, he could sign a contract extension and lead the Catalans into a new era that sees them with plenty of young talent coming through in the likes of Ansu Fati and Ilaix Moriba.
Back in the present, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner will be joined by an in-form Ousmane Dembele at the Parc des Princes.
Source: Forbes – Business