PSG vs Barcelona: Preview and Prediction

PSG and Barcelona are all set to square up against each other in search of a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

The Parc des Princes will play host to the first leg of the quarter-final tie between PSG and Barcelona. The French club are in search of their first UCL title, while Barcelona are looking to win their first since the 2014/15 season.

PSG have been a dominant force in the Ligue 1 for years now, and their ultimate goal every season has been to win the Champions League. Unfortunately, this piece of silverware has avoided them. They made it to the final in the 2019/20 season but ended up suffering a defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich.

The French giants are known to dominate the group stages. But this time out, they could only win two out of their six matches in the so-called group of death (PSG, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, and Newcastle United). They accumulated eight points and finished second behind Dortmund to book a place in the knockout stages.

They eased past Real Sociedad in the round of 16 and are now all set to square up against the Catalan giants. The two teams do share a history of some high-voltage fixtures, and it promises to be another mouthwatering tie.

Barcelona might not be as dominating a team as they were back in the day, but they are still always in the mix for major titles. They last won the UCL in the 2014/15 season and post that, things have not been that great for the Spanish giants in Europe’s premier competition.

They do have an opportunity to go a long way this time out. But, for that to happen, they will have to first take down PSG. Despite being in a relatively easier group Barcelona could only win four out of their six games. But what mattered was they finished top.

In the round of 16, they squared up against a strong Napoli outfit and managed to get the better of them without much difficulty. They will hope for a similar result when they face PSG but it won’t be that easy. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams and tries to predict the tactics they could put to use.

Team News & Tactics


PSG are all set to make wholesale changes to the XI that started in their last league outing. All their first-team regulars will be back in the mix. Kylian Mbappe, former Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele and skipper Marquinhos will all make a return to the XI.

Meanwhile, the hosts will be without the services of Presnel Kimpembe, Layvin Kurzawa, and Sergio Rico. Achraf Hakimi is suspended for this fixture and with Nordi Mukiele picking up a head injury in their outing against Clermont Foot, Warren Zaire-Emery could feature as a full-back for this fixture.

Luis Enrique is expected to stick with the 4-3-3 formation, where Gianluigi Donnarumma will be in goal. Zaire-Emery and Nuno Mendes should be the full-backs for the home team, while Marquinhos should start alongside Milan Skriniar in the heart of the defence.

Manuel Ugarte will be the defensive midfielder in front of the backline, and he will have the support of Lee Kang-in and Vitinha as the trio will look to ensure Barcelona do not end up dictating the pace of this fixture. In attack, Ousmane Dembele will feature on the right flank, while Kylian Mbappe will start on the left. And, Goncalo Ramos should lead the line for PSG.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Zaire-Emery, Marquinhos, Skriniar, Mendes; Lee, Ugarte, Vitinha; Dembele, Ramos, Mbappe

PSG vs Barcelona Predicted XI


While none of the visiting players are suspended for the first leg, there are as many as seven players who will miss the second leg if they get booked. As far as injuries are concerned, Xavi will be without the services of Gavi and Alejandro Balde.

The good news is that Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, and Andreas Christensen have been training with the team and could feature in this fixture. Pedri and Christensen are unlikely to start here, but de Jong can get the green light.

Xavi will go ahead with the 4-3-3 formation, where Marc-Andre ter Stegen will be in goal. Jules Kounde and Joao Cancelo will be the full-backs for the visitors, while teenage sensation Pau Cubarsi will feature alongside Ronald Araujo at the heart of the defence.

Frenkie de Jong could feature alongside Ilkay Gundogan and Fermin Lopez in the centre of the park. The trio will look to ensure they dominate the ball and control the tempo of the ball. Raphinha and Lamine Yamal will feature on the flanks. They will look to stretch the opposition’s defence while creating chances for star striker Robert Lewandowski, who will lead the line.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Kounde, Cubarsi, Araujo, Cancelo; de Jong, Gundogan, Lopez; Yamal, Lewandowski, Raphinha

PSG vs Barcelona Predicted XI

Key Stats

  • Barcelona and PSG have both won four matches each out of the 12 encounters between the two in the UEFA Champions League.
  • Last time when the two teams met in the round of 16 of the 2020/21 season, PSG were the one who made it past that round with an aggregate score of 5-2.
  • The two teams have faced each other in the knockout rounds of the Champions League on five occasions. Barcelona have advanced to the next stage thrice while PSG have done it twice.
  • The Catalan giants have only lost three away matches by a margin of four goals in Europe and one of those defeats came at the hands of PSG in 2017.
  • PSG’s heaviest defeat in Europe came at the hands of Barcelona when they lost 6-1 in 2017 when Luis Enrique the current PSG manager was leading the Catalan giants.

Player to Watch

Kylian Mbappe

Embed from Getty Images

Mbappe might not have played the full 90 minutes on majority of the occasions in the recent past. But he will surely feature from the start in the UEFA Champions League and feature in the full fixture.

The French international has been in sensational form this season, and he will be eager to add to his tally of 39 goals and nine assists in his 40 outings. While PSG have started preparing for life without the 25-year-old, they will depend on him to get past the Catalan giants.


PSG 3-1 Barcelona

It is going to be a closely fought encounter between two quality sides. While history does favour Barcelona, PSG have a lot of quality in their ranks, and they will make it difficult for the visitors. Neither team has been as consistent as they are expected to be but they will bring their A-game to the table.

The fact that Kylian Mbappe has been rested on multiple occasions in the recent past and is fresh for this fixture could play in the favour of the French giants. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-1 win for the home team.

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