Barcelona v PSG preview

Lionel Messi faces a late fitness test ahead of their Champions League quarter-final second leg against Paris Saint-Germain.

Last Updated: 10/04/13 at 19:08

Lionel Messi: Unlikely to be risked against PSG

Lionel Messi: Unlikely to be risked against PSG

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The World Player of the Year is recovering from a hamstring strain picked up in Paris last week, when he scored in the 2-2 first-leg draw, though Barca proved they could survive without him by thrashing Real Mallorca 5-0 in La Liga on Saturday.

Favourites Barca are chasing a fourth Champions League crown in eight seasons, and leading marksman Messi usually provides the cutting edge on the big stage by setting up and scoring goals.

With La Liga all but in the bag, as Barca lead second-placed Real Madrid by 13 points with eight games left, coach Tito Vilanova may be inclined to risk his prize asset against PSG.

Vilanova also has to decide who will partner Gerard Pique in the centre of the defence as Javier Mascherano is out with a knee injury and Carles Puyol is a doubt as he recovers from knee surgery.

Inexperienced former youth-teamer Marc Bartra performed well alongside Pique on Saturday but versatile full-back Adriano Correia is close to fitness again and midfielder Alex Song could even be drafted in at the back.

"We'll see what options we have against PSG," Barca's assistant coach Jordi Roura said.

Eric Abidal's emotional playing return as a substitute on Saturday, a year after having a liver transplant, puts him in the running but he is unlikely to start.

PSG's influential centre-back Thiago Silva is in the squad after sustaining a knee injury in the first leg and missing Saturday's 2-0 win at Stade Rennes in Ligue 1.

On Saturday, coach Carlo Ancelotti had seven of the 11 players who started the first leg either on the bench or not even on the team sheet as he looked to rest tired legs.

Ancelotti, however, has a problem to solve in midfield due to the absence of the suspended Blaise Matuidi.

David Beckham is a probable starter after a decent performance in the first leg, with the second holding midfielder spot likely to be between Italian Marco Verratti and Frenchman Clement Chantome.

Italy midfielder Thiago Motta could also play there but he has only featured once in more than two months because of a groin injury.

Jeremy Menez's fine performance against Rennes may not have been enough for him to take the place of Ezequiel Lavezzi or Lucas, whilst centre back Alex has recovered from a thigh problem and is in the squad.

"We have to take it as a great day for us. We are in an extraordinary position," sports director Leonardo told French media.

"Barcelona are 20 years into their project. PSG have started a great chapter in their history but the squad only started working together 20 months ago."

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Champions League Fixtures

Saturday, 06 June 2015
19:45
Juventus v Barcelona  

Footer 365

​Reported Celtic target Danny Wilson has left Hearts

​Reported Celtic target Danny Wilson has left Hearts after activating a clause in his contract.

Bomb threat confirmed on FIFA election day in Zurich

A bomb threat and a political protest have disrupted FIFA's congress on the day Sepp Blatter's critics hope will signal his exit.

Jack Warner hits out at USA after being charged in corruption case

Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has hit out at the United States after he was charged in a US corruption case.

Mail Box

Players Must Stand Up For Qatar Boycott

Players, not bureaucrats, hold the key to boycotting Qatar. Also in the afternoon mailbox: Wenger is right to rotate, Zlatan can dribble, and it's Barca v Ajax in the budget final...

What Would You Do If You Were Blatter?

Step into Sepp's shoes, is the invitation from one mailboxer. Also: United already have their new number one, Rodgers deserves time, and the best Budget XI so far...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company