Soccer Picks: Paris Saint Germain vs. Valencia

Steven Suarez

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 5:46 PM GMT

Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2013 5:46 PM GMT

Parc des Princes will be rocking on Wednesday as PSG aims to move on to the next round of the Champions League at the expense of Valencia. Can they hold on to their narrow advantage from the first leg?

Odds Overview

PSG are obvious favorites here, but the soccer odds are not as contrasting as you may think. The French side is listed at 4/5 to get the win.

A Valencia victory would net you 33/10 in profit, while a draw can be locked down at 57/20. Find more of these freshly updated odds over at SBRodds.com if you're interested in any of the other Champions League matches this week.

Paris Saint-Germain

PSG had strung together consecutive 2-0 victories over a strong Marseille outfit, but they fell way short in a weekend loss to Reims.

In the 1-0 defeat, it was hardly as if Carlo Ancelotti went with a weak starting XI. The likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Javier Pastore, Lucas Moura, and Marco Verratti were all on the team-sheet, while David Beckham, Jeremy Menez and Kevin Gameiro made appearances off the bench. 

It was a shock performance from the Parisiens, especially due to the fact they held a man advantage for over 30 minutes after a Reims red card. PSG just could not find their way past Kossi Agassa however.

The Parisiens have the 2-1 advantage over Valencia heading into Wednesday, but they will be without two of their best players for this return leg in Paris. 

Both Ibrahimovic and Verratti are suspended for the match, with the former picking up a red card in the closing minutes of the first leg. We're likely to see Gameiro step in and join the attack in his place, though it remains to be seen who will be the replacement for Verratti.

Valencia

Since that first leg loss, Valencia has gone unbeaten over their last three matches, with one win (over Mallorca) and two draws (against Real Zaragoza and Levante). 

The latest was a 2-2 tie with Levante at home. Roberto Soldado scored his customary goal, while Jonas also got in on the action. But the Goats gave up a goal at the death to kill their chances of grabbing all three points.

With Malaga in poor form at the moment, it was a golden opportunity lost for Valencia. A win would have vaulted them into the fourth spot in La Liga and the subsequent Champions League qualifying spot that comes with it. 

As for this season's European march, the Goats still have a chance. They did give up two crucial away goals in the first leg at home, but they have at least proven to be tricky to beat in away matches so far this season. They'll have to be near perfect to secure advancement against a strong PSG team.

Valencia is dealing with some injuries too at the moment, as both Ricardo Costa and Adil Rami have not been included in the group that will travel to France. That's going to the Spanish side quite short-handed in the back for this trip.

[gameodds]8/220355/43/us[/gameodds]

Champions League Pick

If the past is anything to go by, the Parisiens are in a good place. They have the one-goal advantage and have looked in menacing form at home during European play this season. 

However, you have to take the absences of Ibrahimovic and Verratti into account here. Zlatan has been in prolific scoring form all year long, netting 22 times in 23 Ligue 1 appearances and twice in seven Champions League matches. Verratti meanwhile is a terrific playmaker in his own right. 

Luckily for PSG, they still have a lot of other quality players within their ranks, so we do think they'll be able to survive here and move on. It won't be easy by any stretch of the imagination though, especially if Valencia manages to get an early goal, but ultimately think that a draw holds the best value for our sports picks.

Soccer Pick: PSG 1 Valencia 1

Aggregate: PSG 3 Valencia 2
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