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Champions League returns as Barcelona welcome PSG

By Vincent Ashitey
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After a long break, the UEFA Champions League resumes tonight with two matches to be played.

Barcelona will tonight take on Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 at Camp Nou at 8:00pm.

Barça finished second in their group and are facing a group winner with the second leg being played away from home, and the draw with PSG isn’t easy at all.

But as is often the case, you can’t judge the Round of 16 draw when it’s made in December since the matches only happen in February, and teams can change a lot in those two months. And both teams have: PSG went to Champions League finalists to changing their coach to not looking like a world-beater anymore, and Barça have improved in recent weeks.

READ ALSO: Liverpool collapse in six minutes against Leicester City

Barca may welcome back defender Gerard Pique, who has been out for three months with a knee injury but has trained with the squad for the past five days.

The hosts will be without centre-back Ronald Araujo, who has been ruled out with an ankle injury.

PSG suffered a huge blow as forward Neymar was ruled out of the meeting against his old side with a thigh injury, but the Brazil international could return for the second leg on 10 March.

Match stats

  • Barcelona have knocked out PSG in each of their past three Champions League knock-out ties: 2012-13 quarter-finals, 2014-15 quarter-finals and 2016-17 last 16. The only previous time PSG overcame the Catalans in a Champions League knockout tie was in the 1994-95 quarter-finals.
  • The last time Barcelona and PSG met was in the 2016-17 last-16. The Catalan side became the first - and so far only - side to qualify for the next round following a 4+ goals first-leg margin of defeat (they lost the first leg 4-0 at Parc des Princes but won the return leg 6-1 at the Nou Camp).

In the other fixture for today, German side RB Leipzig will be hosting  Liverpool at 8:00pm.