IN the last eight, Barcelona prepared on Tuesday (April 14) to face Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the French capital in the Champions League quarter finals.
Barca coach Luis Enrique told reporters the game against Laurent Blanc’s team wouldn’t be a walk in the park.
“We had the opportunity of facing Paris St. Germain many times in the last few years. They always showed how a good team they were. That put them as one of the favorites for the title. The fact that they eliminated another favorite Chelsea showed it was a clear win that many admired. They did what they need it to be in the quarter-finals,” Luis Enrique told a news conference.
PSG’s hopes of making the semi-finals have been hit by suspensions and injury, with Sweden star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Italy midfielder Marco Verratti banned and midfielder Thiago Motta out with a thigh injury.
But for Barca, the absence of such players doesn’t guarantee on easier time on the field.
Barca and PSG have already met twice in the Champions League group stage this term, with the Ligue 1 side winning 3-2 in Paris and Barca’s 3-1 success at the Nou Camp helping them finish as group winners.
“It is obvious that they are missing players, it is not something you can hide but if we remember when they faced us without (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic they beat us. When Ibrahimovic played we managed to beat them. They are important players for them but they have a good squad and I am sure they will try to complicate our lives. In the end, we don’t know what is best – to have it or not (missing players),” Enrique said.
Barca are in the last eight of Europe’s elite club competition for a record eighth season in a row, while PSG are seeking a last-four place for the second time, having lost to AC Milan in 1994-95 after beating Barca in the quarter-finals.
Barcelona’s German goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen seemed confident about the outcome of the match on Wednesday (April 15).
“We will have a difficult match tomorrow, yes we will see what happens tomorrow but we are interested that we win tomorrow,” he said. (Reuters)