Rakitic and Messi both scored against Granada / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

The Champions League was made for nights like these at the Parc des Princes (8.45 PM CET). Paris Saint-Germain and FC Barcelona, two of the strongest teams in Europe, face each other in a rematch of the quarter final two years ago. Barça won through on that occasion by virtue of the away goals rule after the tie ended 3-3 on aggregate. And although this year’s encounter is not quite as do-or-die as the one in 2013, a win in Paris would leave the Catalans well poised in their quest to qualify from Group F.

It’s being billed as the toughest match yet for Barça. And it certainly won’t be easy for them to defend their incredible record of having gone seven games this season (six in La Liga and one in the UCL) without conceding a single goal. Not only are Barça strong at the back, but after a blip against Malaga, they also got back to their goalscoring ways in dramatic style on Saturday, blasting six past Granada at the Camp Nou.

Big names missing

The star-studded PSG, who drew 1-1 at Ajax in their opening Champions League fixture, are currently fourth in Ligue 1. They’re unbeaten in eight games, but five of those have been draws, and will have to cope with Barça without the services of three key players in captain Thiago Silva, Ezequiel Lavezzi and former Barça man Zlatan Ibrahimovic. However, even without that trio, they can still count on the likes of David Luiz, Lucas Moura and Edinson Cavani. Because that’s what the Champions League is all about, and Barça will be hoping to pass this particular French exam with flying colours.

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