FC BARCELONA vs PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN: Preview, Team News and Prediction

Barcelona travel to Paris to face fierce rivals PSG in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter finals.
FC Barcelona Training Session And Press Conference - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
FC Barcelona Training Session And Press Conference - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / BSR Agency/GettyImages

14th August 2020, the last time FC Barcelona played a match in the quarterfinal stage of the UEFA Champions League against Bayern Munich, a match which would be etched as one of the darkest days in the club's fabled history. 1335 days after that 8-2 drubbing in Lisbon, Barcelona return to club football's grandest stage looking to reclaim their status as one of the football's elites. FC Barcelona travel to the Parc des Princes to take on Paris Saint-Germain in one of their most important matches in recent history.

Barcelona as a team has been on an upward spiral in terms of both performance and results ever since Xavi Hernández announced his decision to step down come the end of the season. Unbeaten in their last 11 games in all competitions (8 wins and 3 draws), Barcelona come into this fixture on the back of some steady displays on both sides of the field. With Real Madrid showing no signs of allowing Barcelona to cut the gap in La Liga, the Champions League is Barça's best hope of winning a trophy and giving Xavi a fitting farewell.

Paris Saint Germain on the other hand have blown hot and cold in recent weeks drawing 4 of their last 9 games. Rumours have circulated of an internal dispute between former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and star forward Kylian Mbappé, as the French capital remains curious about his future, with him being constantly benched. The club, despite their recent struggles, has all but wrapped up the Ligue 1 title and are in the Cup Final, looking to become the first French team to win the treble. The UCL has been the only piece of silverware missing from the all spending Parisians cabinet and Mbappé would be looking to add that honour before making his speculated move to Real Madrid.

The rivalry and hostility between PSG and FC Barcelona in recent seasons adds an extra edge to this game. From Roberto's "it's a stretch, it's in" to cap off a famous 6-1 Remontada to Neymar, Lionel Messi and Dembélé's latest transfer saga, the discontentment between the two clubs has been on a rise in the recent past.

PSG last faced Barcelona in a covid inflicted closed doors scenario in the R016 in 2020/21. The Parisians emerged comfortable winners, winning 5-2 over two legs courtesy to a Kylian Mbappé hat-trick at the Camp Nou. Messi's blitzkrieg strike in the second leg was his last European goal for the club. Marc-André ter Stegen will be the only common name in the starting lineup this Wednesday (Pedri and FDJ's availability subject to fitness).

Both PSG and Barcelona have had a squad revamp since their last meeting and are currently going through a transition phase of sorts. Luis Enrique, the last manager to bring European glory to the Catalan capital, is currently commanding the PSG sidelines. Mbappé alongside Gonçalo Ramos, former Barcelona man Ousmane Dembélé, ex-Madrid winger Marco Asensio and Kolo Muani form a formidable Parisian attack who can run through any side on their day.

Xavi Hernández, who was expected to bring back European glory to the Camp Nou, returns to the Barcelona dugout after being forced to watch Barca’s last league game from the stands. The Catalans do not boast a proud UCL record of late, having made past the QF stage on only one occasion (vs Man Utd in 2018/19) since winning the title in 2014/15. The Blaugranes haven't always performed to their fullest in big games under manager Xavi but did turn up in their previous 3 deciding games against Napoli and Atlético de Madrid. With the youthful exuberance of Lamine and Cubarsí perfectly complementing the likes of Gündoğan and Lewandowski, Barcelona does boast of a united squad looking to go on an all conquering run.



Frenkie De Jong and Pedri will make the trip to Paris with the squad after being sidelined for more than a month, but their roles off the bench may be limited. The coach rested Christensen and Araújo for the game against Las Palmas due to injury concerns but now they have been declared fit enough to be included in the starting eleven. Koundé and Araújo operating on Mbappé's flank would need to be on their toes for the entirety of the two legs, for that battle could well decide the outcome of this tie. Xavi might also play Roberto in midfield to offer extra stability in the center of the park and to allow Gündoğan the freedom to go further up-field more frequently.

Raphinha defied his usual position as a right winger and delivered one of his best performances on the left against Las Palmas, making him a potential candidate for the same role in a front three alongside Lewandowski, and Yamal. Fermín López and João Félix are potent threats in attack and could make meaningful impacts off the bench. With no injury concerns for the first time in ages, Xavi would be hoping to have a complete performance from all his players.

Predicted XI(4-3-3);

Marc-André ter Stegen, Joules Koundé, Ronald Araújo, Pau Cubarsí, João Cancelo, Andreas Christensen, İlkay Gündoğan, Sergi Roberto, Lamine Yamal, Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha


Paris Saint-Germain have a formidable team with no injury concerns and an attack which could destroy any defense on their own accord. Mbappé and Dembélé on the right and left flanks respectively will be rearing to have a crack against the likes of Koundé and Cancelo in a face off which could well decide the fate of the tie. Ramos and Kolo Muani upfront would fancy their chances of coming up goods in 1v1 situations. Lucas Hernández, Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes are few of the swiftest defenders in the business and their prowess against the likes of Yamal and Lewandowski would be another mouth watering prospect.

Predicted XI(4-3-1-2);

Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, Marquinhos, Lucas Hernández, Nuno Mendes, Warren Zaïre-Emery, Vitinha, Fabián Ruiz, Lee Kang-in, Ousmane Dembélé, Kylian Mbappé


With their “pu*a Barça” chants during PSG’s previous game last weekend, the Parc des Princes crowd made it clear about the level of hostility Barcelona would face in the French Capital. Xavi hasn’t always come up with the best of tactics on big European nights but his squad’s recent resurgence and uplift offers hope and optimism to millions of Culers all over the world. Xavi conceded that PSG were the favourites in his pre-match press conference but the Blaugrana will give it their all to prove that their coach’s words were restricted to the conference room and wouldn’t transcend to the pitch. Barcelona face their toughest test in recent history with a chance to rectify and forget the recent sorrows. It is time for the original Red and Blues to show their true selves and wreak havoc to silence a Parisian crowd.

FC Barcelona 2-2 Paris Saint Germain