Paris Saint-Germain-Valencia Preview: Ancelotti's side aim to complete the job against Spaniards
The Ligue 1 leaders suffered a shock defeat at the weekend, but will be hoping to book a spot in the last eight for the first time since 1994-95 against Ernesto Valverde's men
By Mohammed Ali
Jallet, Alex, Thiago Silva, Maxwell
Lucas Moura, Matuidi, Chantome, Pastore
Pereira, Victor Ruiz, Mathieu, Guardado
Parejo, T Costa
Feghouli, Banega, Jonas
Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti is without suspended duo Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti for the Champions League clash against Valencia on Wednesday, with Jeremy Menez also out of the squad through injury.
Ibrahimovic's red card in stoppage time in the first leg sees him band for two games by Uefa, though the French club have appealed a possible ban for the quarter-finals. The Swede, who featured in the shock 1-0 defeat to Reims at the weekend, is set to be replaced by Kevin Gameiro.
Verratti's replacement is undecided however. David Beckham is in line to make his first Champions League appearance since a 4-0 defeat for AC Milan to Manchester United in 2010, with Clement Chantome also in the mix.
Thiago Silva is set to return, with Ancelotti confirming the new captain's presence on Wednesday, with Christophe Jallet on the brink of a return ahead of a disappointing Gregory van der Wiel.
Meanwhile, Valencia coach Ernesto Valverde is set to play Frenchman Jeremy Mathieu in defence for the trip to Paris following injuries to Ricardo Costa and Adil Rami, both of whom are not in the 19-man group.
Sofiane Feghouli - born in Paris - should play, with Roberto Soldado leading the line as the Spaniards aim to put an end to PSG's dream of Wembley.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Paris Saint-Germain, who last made it into the quarter-finals in 1994-95, have won their last five games in the competition.
- The Ligue 1 leaders are unbeaten in 22 home fixtures in Europe, since a 4-2 defeat to Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2006.
- Les Parisiens have scored all 16 of their Champions League goals inside the box.
- The next goal PSG concede will be the 50th against them in Champions League/European Cup history.
- Valencia's first-leg defeat ended a 17-game unbeaten run against Ligue 1 opposition.
- On the three occasions that Valencia have suffered a first-leg defeat in Uefa competition, they have gone on to lose every tie.
- Ernesto Valverde will be hoping to steer the club to their first quarter-final since 2006-07, when they were eliminated by Chelsea.
- Thiago Silva, Blaise Matuidi (PSG) and Antonio Barragan, Vicente Guaita and Tino Costa are all within a booking of suspension.
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Top 3 Predictions
Paris St. Germain (PSG) 2-1 Valencia
- 18.62 %
Paris St. Germain (PSG) 2-0 Valencia
- 17.45 %
Paris St. Germain (PSG) 3-1 Valencia
- 10.16 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||6 Mar 2013||Paris St. Germain (PSG) 1 - Valencia 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||12 Feb 2013||Valencia 1 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 2|
|Paris St. Germain (PSG)|
|18 Dec 2013||Paris St. Germain (PSG) 2 - AS Saint-Etienne 1||FRLC|
|14 Dec 2013||Rennes 1 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 3||Lig1|
|10 Dec 2013||Benfica 2 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 1||UCL|
|7 Dec 2013||Paris St. Germain (PSG) 5 - FC Sochaux-Montbéliard 0||Lig1|
|4 Dec 2013||Evian Thonon Gaillard 2 - Paris St. Germain (PSG) 0||Lig1|
|23||Gregory van der Wiel||Defender|
|18||Jose Andrés Guardado||Midfielder|
The tireless midfielder is enjoying a fruitful season at the Parc des Princes, fast becoming - alongside Ibrahimovic and Sirigu - PSG's most important players. His combative nature and sleek fluidity in the middle of the field has benefited the French side in many a game this campaign, and despite a shocker at the weekend against Reims, the former Saint-Etienne star should pose a considerable threat against Valencia.
The Valencia captain will be aiming to fire his side into the quarter-finals after proving to be largely a peripheral in the first leg. Nevertheless, with two goals in the three games since the Mestalla clash, Soldado will be hoping for better in the City of Lights. PSG have looked rather awkward in defence of late, even if they did grind out consecutive 2-0 wins over Marseille, and it's up to the Spain international to exploit that.
The Ligue 1 leaders are limited considerably with the suspension of goal-machine Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and at times they've looked largely without their talismanic striker. Nevertheless, Valencia's own problems, notably in defence, sees them unlikely to progress. PSG have the quality, even if the visitors possess the know-how at this stage. It'll be narrow, but Carlo Ancelotti's side should finish the job.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed