Expect a frenzied pace from the start at Camp Nou on Wednesday when Barcelona welcomes upstart Paris Saint-Germain for Leg 2 of their Round of 16 Champions League. The Catalans are facing a likely insurmountable 4-0 deficit after being trampled in France. What does this mean for Wednesday?
Lionel Messi and Barcelona play host to Paris Saint-Germain in Leg 2 of their series at Camp Nou in Barcelona on Wednesday. With the Ligue 1 leaders rolling in Leg 1 at Parc des Princes in Paris, 4-0, oddsmakers have Barcelona -225 favorites over +590 underdogs PSG with the Draw +400 (BetCRIS) in a match the hosts can win 3-0 and still get knocked out. The Total is up to 3½ with the Under -102 (BetCRIS) while on the Goal Line, Barça is -1½ +100 with with PSG +1½ -133 (GTBets).
Still unbeaten Paris Saint-Germain (+600 to win UCL, Intertops) may have won this series in Leg 1 with its goal-barrage, and this club could very surprise the world and win this tournament. With a staunch defense and Kevin Trapp (4 Clean Sheets L5 matches) as GK, Les Parisiens (4-3-0 UCL, 19 GF-7 GA) can pretty much sew up advancement with a road goal, if even necessary. And with attackers like Ángel Di María (4 goals), Edinson Cavani (4 goals) and Javier Pastore, expect manager Unai Emery and the visitors to get at least a goal in Catalonia and force manager Luis Enrique and Barça to make winning La Liga its new immediate goal (Barcelona 11/10 to win La Liga, Bet365).
Barcelona (40/1 to win UCL, Intertops) went from tournament favorites to “all men on deck” after that Leg 1 embarrassment in which Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Suárez and one of the sport's most prolific attacks couldn't muster a goal. The Catalans are now left with no choice except to attack hard from jump, try to score twice by halftime and holding PSG scoreless to have any kind of chance with 4-0 or 5-0 the only scorelines the hosts really want to see around 90 minutes. Only three clubs have ever rallied to advance from 4-goal deficits in Leg 1.
Series Trends, Expectations, Picks
Barcelona (6-0-2, 20 GF-8 GA in UCL) is 4-3-3 in the 10 overall meetings (16 GF-15 GA) and 2-2-0 at Home in UCL play, outscoring PSG, 7-3. But the numbers are meaningless with the situation: one club club intent on doing as much as possible quickly and the other one on milking the clock while casually trying to get that devastating road score. And PSG should, in an up-tempo match closer than the home crowd wants, making PSG +1½ and the Over 3½ worthy picks.