Ten things you need to know about Paris Saint-Germain
The French side led by Laurent Blanc seek to conquer the quarter-finals for the first time against Group F nemesis Barça
11:00PM Thursday 19 Mar
Paris Saint-Germain are in the quarter-finals after knocking out Chelsea, who had harboured title aspirations of their own, in the last 16. The French made it through on away goals after a 3–3 aggregate score over both legs.
The Parisians boast three ex-FC Barcelona players who have experience facing their old club: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Motta and Maxwell Scherrer. Skipper Laurent Blanc played for Barça too, back in 1996/97.
PSG will be without two of their top players for the first leg in Paris. Both Ibrahimovic, who was red-carded in the last-16 return leg versus Chelsea, and Marco Verratti are suspended. For Barça, Dani Alves, like Verratti, will also be out for accumulation of yellow cards.
Perhaps the most memorable moment in the history of Barça–PSG matchups came in the 1997 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup when the Catalans beat the Parisians in Rotterdam on a lone penalty kick from Ronaldo. That Barça side was coached by Bobby Robson and featured players Luis Enrique and Laurent Blanc, the current coaches of both teams.
PSG have played eight matches in this year’s Champions League. They have won four, drawn three and lost just once, to Barça.
Laurent Blanc’s squad have scored 13 goals and given up 10. Edinson Cavani leads the team with six goals.
This is PSG’s third trip to the quarter-finals, coming all in a row in the last three seasons. They’ve never made it to the semi-finals.
In their history in the UEFA Champions League, PSG have played 68 matches, with a record of 36 wins, 14 losses and 18 ties.
In Ligue 1, the French first division, PSG are currently second with 56 points, two behind leaders Olympique Lyonnais. The Parisians face Lorient on Friday and could become the provisional leaders.