Lionel Messi vs Layvin Kurzawa
The only player in the Barcelona squad who could probably create a goal from absolutely nothing, Lionel Messi will have one of the most challenging tasks of his club career when the Catalans host PSG this midweek. And given his recent form, he looks perfectly up for the task. Whether it is long distance shots, playing a one-two, from set pieces or creating the most impeccable of chances, Lionel Messi excels in everything and is perhaps the best in the world in the attacking third.
Unai Emery can only hope that the Argentine doesn’t get into the flow by getting a goal early in the game. PSG will have Layvin Kurzawa to cover him on the left flank. Now, Kurzawa has been quite impressive for PSG so far and did his job remarkably against the man in the first leg but it will undoubtedly be a totally different ball game at Nou Camp.
Pathetic defending had made Barcelona’s attacking job all the more difficult for the trio in Paris, but PSG has never won a game in Barcelona in the last four years and has always been eliminated in the eighth round.
Luis Suarez vs Thiago Silva
The Uruguayan forward has 20 goals in 23 La Liga appearances this season providing nine assists so far. If there is any forward who deserves spearheading the attack with Messi and Neymar on the flanks, it is Suarez. His ability to finish is out of this world and his sublime movements when facing defenders charging at him is unparalleled. PSG still remember the humiliating nutmegs Suarez executed to perfection when David Luiz played against him, and they are surely aware of his individual potential to put four past Trapp in no time.
They will have the experienced Thiago Silva at the back to mark him, whose game reading ability is outstanding and is perhaps a candidate any manager would want to deploy against a Barcelona attack.
Edinson Cavani vs Gerard Pique
Cavani has been in red-hot form at the moment and with the previous leg hero, Angel di Maria, a doubt for the game, the onus will definitely be upon him to get a goal at Nou Camp and finish the tie beyond all doubts. He has scored 27 goals in the Ligue 1 so far.
He will be up against Barcelona’s Gerard Pique, who not only matches him perfectly in physical strength and height but also has a brilliant vision of where the game is going.
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