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Despite spending big this summer, Phil Kitromilides believes the French side are still no match for the Catalans, and is therefore backing Tito Vilanova's men to come up trumps

With Paris Saint-Germain the beneficiaries of heavy investment thanks to their Qatari owner, this fixture could - in the not too distant future - become a regular encounter in the latter stages of the Champions League.

The team from the French capital followed up last summer's big-money purchase of Javier Pastore from Palermo by landing both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Motta from AC Milan last month.

The double swoop was as eye-catching as it was expensive, yet it served to underline PSG's intent for the forthcoming season and beyond, and a victory against Barcelona, albeit in a friendly, would reinforce the club's status as giants of European football ready to be awoken from their slumber.

Paddy Power price a PSG win at 13/5 (3.60), while Barca can be backed at, what looks like, an extremely healthy 17/20 (1.85).

It is worth remembering that despite lavishing nearly €40m on Pastore, not to mention €11m on Kevin Gameiro, PSG could only finish second in Ligue 1 last season, behind Montpellier.

An inability to keep clean sheets towards the end of the campaign ultimately cost them, and while they have reinforced the squad in spectacular fashion, they are far from the finished article.

This makes backing a Barcelona victory extremely tempting, while an argument could be made for backing Barcelona any time they are offered around 17/20 (1.85) regardless of who their opponents may be.

With the arrival of Jordi Alba and David Villa's return from injury, the Catalans will be stronger than they were last season, and should be too good for PSG.

In the value bet market, Draw/Barcelona at 4/1 (5.00) looks tempting as PSG should not be completely discarded as opponents and are more than capable of holding Barca to a stalemate at the break.

Yet the defensive deficiencies which saw them keep just two clean sheets in the final 15 matches of last season will almost inevitably be exposed by the Blaugrana at some stage.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Barcelona to win at 17/20 (1.85) with Paddy Power
Draw/Barcelona at 4/1 (5.00) with Paddy Power

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.

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