Barcelona face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarterfinals

Barcelona look to get a positive result while PSG look for a statement win

Barcelona's return to the Champions League quarterfinals see them face off against a familiar opponent in the form of Paris Saint-Germain.

Both sides have come up against one another in recent Champions League history with the Remontada the most-well known clash where Barcelona overturned a 4-0 deficit in the first leg and won the second 6-1 (6-5 agg.) to go through. Coincidentally enough, Luis Enrique was the Barcelona manager on that occasion.

"I know the club very well, I know Barcelona and the players but I don't know if that could be an advantage, maybe it could be the oppposite," Luis Enrique said. "It's an important team for me on an emotional level because of my experience there. But that is a job and I need to be professional."

The match is a reunion of sorts with not only Luis Enrique facing his former team but for Ousmane Dembele as well. The French forward left Barcelona prior to the start of the season.

In the last couple of seasons, there is no argument PSG have had a better run in the Champions League with Barcelona with PSG reaching the final back in 2020. The Catalan side are back in the quarterfinal phase for the first time since the departure of Lionel Messi.

PSG came out the victors the last time they met with Kylian Mbappe imposing his authority in the first leg. Something he'll want to do not only for PSG but for his pending move to Real Madrid. No better way to join than by helping knock out Madrid's biggest rivals.

Barcelona head into the match having played somewhat better football than what they were showing earlier in the season. Whether that's due to Xavi announcing he was leaving come the end of the season is up for debate.

"We are in the best form of the season. We started well but then we had a phase that wasn't so good and now we're good again and well motivated," Joao Felix said. "it's big games that get me going the most. That's not to take anything away from smaller teams but when they just play to defend it's very hard to score goals. When they try to match us, things tend to work out better for us. We have a lot of quality and things go better."

Felix could be one the players Xavi decides to start as it is being reported he plans to field an attacking line-up.

Barcelona will also receive a huge boost as Frenkie de Jong and Andreas Christensen should be available for the match. The only question is whether they'll start or not. Pedri has also made the list but is unlikely to feature.

Barcelona has kept five clean sheets in a row in LaLiga and will look to translate that defensive solidity to Europe. The emergence of Pau Cubarsi has been a huge plus with Xavi able to play Jules Kounde on the right. The French defender has certainly raised his game recently and will be tasked with trying to contain Mbappe.

Robert Lewandowski has also hit form at the right time. Lamine Yamal continues to impress and both are likely to start.

Barcelona's defense will be tested with PSG likely to go at the Catalans. Recently, Barcelona's defense has bent but not broke. Though against Napoli, they were fortuntate the Serie A side weren't as clinical as they could have been. Barcelona cannot allow to commit the same mistakes if they want a shot of getting past PSG.

With this being the first leg, Barcelona may be more willing to sit back and hit PSG with a counter. That might be the plan initially but it could change should PSG score early.

The last thing Barcelona wants to do is get drawn into a match where they get desperate to get an equalizer because PSG will take advantage of that desperation. Barcelona have to play it smart and remind themselves there is still a second game left to be played.


In some ways, getting to this stage is a job well done for Barcelona. But their ambitions stretch far beyond just the quarterfinals. The tie against PSG will be a litmus test to see where Barcelona are in their transition.