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Champions League LIVE Twitter Q&A
The Champions League is back with its knockout rounds. In the build-up to today's encounter, Goal.com is having a question and answers session with all its correspondents, who shall discuss each of the fixtures in detail. Do join in, as an intense debate is assured

00:25 IST


So that is all we have here for you today! Thanks a lot for joining in and do follow the two Champions League games, which kick-off in less than an hour's time, LIVE on Goal.com.

This is your host for tonight, Ayush Srivastava signing out! Do let us know your thoughts on my twitter handle @ayush_sri or get in touch with Goal.com India's twitter account @Goal_India

Enjoy the Champions League action!

00:19 IST


So time for predictions.

Unlike the Celtic versus Juventus, the jury is unanimous here, with all the Correspondents and Contributors agreeing that PSG are the clear favourites, with only Shikharr being kind enough to even allow Valencia the luxury of a goal!

00:14 IST


While Ibrahimovic has garnered all the praise for PSG, they also have a mean defense, which has conceded the least goals in this Champions League campaign. Is a solid defense the foundation on which one builds a strong side?

Brendon Netto states, "Not really surprising. Not only do they have a good back-line but the core of the team is very strong. They normally play two holding midfielders behing Pastore in a 4-3-3 formation and they offer the defense plenty of cover. Ancelotti has always ensured that his sides have a strong foundation."

But Kaustav Bera thinks that piece of stat is a bit mis-leading and must be put in context of the group PSG were in. He says, "The Champions League group they were in, was a cakewalk for PSG. Hence the stat. If they would be up against tougher opposition I am sure things would have been different."

00:10 IST


The one thing binding Valencia and PSG is perhaps their reliance at times on their main strikers, Roberto Soldado and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. So can we say the teams are over-dependent on the two players?

Kaustav Bera thinks it is an open and shut case. He mentions, "Yes, no matter what Ancelotti says PSG are over dependent on Ibra. In fact he had come out once and said they aren't dependent on Ibra. Ibra was red carded and hence they lost that match and the subsequent one where he was suspended. So the writing is there for all to see."

Brendon Netto adds, "I don't think they have another striker available who can be as prolific as Ibrahimovic. When he's 'shown the love', he can be a fantastic player for any side. The trick is to feed his ego and manipulate his ambition to work for the good of the team."

00:04 IST


Kaustav Bera feels the affect of money can be gauged by PSG's current position. He explains, "Since PSG sit at the top of the Ligue 1 table and look to do pretty well even in the Champions League, I guess money has actually made them a team too."

Shikharr Chandra has no reservations in agreeing with his colleague and commented, "Money has played a huge role in transforming the fortunes of various clubs over the years. We have seen how Chelsea, Man City have become the new powerhouses over the last decade and with the recent investment into PSG and seeing their league position and the quality of players they have, money has certainly helped them"

00:01 IST


Valencia and PSG represent clubs at opposite ends of the spectrum. While the Los Che have been suffering from financial issues, the Ligue 1 side have been busy splashing the cash. So what part does money play in modern football?

23:58 IST


Brendon Netto thinks a wobbly defense will prove to be Valencia's undoing and adds, "Valencia's inconsistency stems from their poor defense. They have looked promising at times when going forward but PSG have a really strong defense and are competent in attack. I think this will turn out to be a relatively comfortable tie for the Ligue 1 side."

Aditya Bajaj chimes in with a bit of history - "Also last time Ibrahimovic faced Valencia in the 2006-07 season there was a massive brawl at the end of the game, Inter knocked out. Zlatan would be looking to avenge that disaster"

23:54 IST


Over to the next game of the night - Valencia vs PSG

Valencia have been erratic this season. Valencia sit in fifth place in La Liga, two points behind Malaga, but are unbeaten in four games - fixtures which have included Barcelona and Real Madrid. What this suggests is their ability to rise to big occasions

What do you have to say?

23:50 IST


So finally we get to the predictions - and none of Goal.com's correspondent's decide to sit on the fence!

Aditya Bajaj prophesizes, "Juventus to enjoy the lion's share of possession but Celtic are difficult to break, 1-0 to Conte."

Brendon Netto is hoping for the same scoreline, but with Celtic enjoying the advantage! He opines, "1-0 to Celtic. Want to keep it interesting. Forster to play another blinder!"

Shikharr Chandra too thinks Celtic shall have the advantage, thanks to the home fans. - "Another memorable night at Celtic park. Celtic to win 2-1"

23:42 IST


Barcelona found Celtic's physical style a bit too hot to handle. Will Juventus struggle too, considering Giorgio Chiellini is absent for the tie?

Kaustav Bera though does not think the Italian International's absence will be too big an issue and stated, "Giorgio Chiellini's absence will not be felt much as Juventus look to be the team doing most of the attacking tonight and they will have adequate cover in Caeceres who can slot in as the central defender alongside Barzagli and Bonucci."

Aditya Bajaj also agrees with Kaustav and opines, "Dont expect Juve's trio in the center of defence to be troubled that much given that they barely move forward and are always present at the back with the full backs helping them."

23:35 IST


Brendon Netto feels that stopping Andrea Pirlo is key to Celtic's hopes in the tie.

"This game will demand another lion-hearted performance from Victor Wanyama in particular. He was crucial to their good results so far. Michael Brown wasn't available against Barcelona but he is the skipper and being robust and denfensive is right up his alley. The question is who will mark Andrea Pirlo?"

"If they stop him playing then they have a chance. I think Samaras will be the one playing behind Hooper and he will probably be asked to keep an eye on Pirlo when Juventus have possession. Miku did a great job against Xavi earlier though. The wing-backs are also going to be key, how Celtic will stop them is unclear. Their wingers will have to be a lot more defensive than they're used to," the Goal.com Correspondent further added.

Shikharr Chandra agreed and elaborated, "Neil Lennon must have taken notes from the Juventus-Chelsea game in the group stages and how Oscar managed to stop Pirlo for most part of the game and if either Brown or Wanyama can do that, Juventus might have a hard time"

23:30 IST


In midfield, Celtic's Wanyama and Brown are very different to a Pirlo and Vidal, if one can say that. Who do you think shall come on top in this game? Celtic did well against a side which has the best midfielders earlier in the Champions League. Can they do the same against a team which has the second best midfield in Europe?

23:26 IST


Goal.com's Italian expert, Aditya Bajaj had this to say on the issue - "Giovinco has not played much of late beacuse of his injury and was rested in the last game so he should start along with Vucinic. Matri can come on and make an impact later on in the game. Dont see Anelka playing a part tonight."

23:24 IST


If there is one position where Juventus have had a problem this season, then it is definitely upfront. Who do you think shall start upfront?

Goal.com's Kaustav Bera opines, "Against big burly Celtic defenders, Giovinco can work the spaces delightfully and he needs to slot in as one of the two strikers. Since Anelka has just joined he will, in all probability not be introduced from the word go. Vucinic would be a good partner for Giovinco as he can really work the Celtic defense. There is little point in playing a targetman, as the Celtic defenders should be easily able to cope with them."

23:20 IST


Brendon Netto feels that Juventus would be ill-advised to discount the impact fans have on such occasions. He explained, "I think the support of the home crowd is essential especially when Celtic, considered minnows face a team like Juventus. We saw how much it worked for them when they played Barcelona. The home support is sometimes referred to as the 12th man and rightly so. They'll need that bit of inspiration and their fas are great at providing just that."

Shikharr Chandra too agrees with his colleague, and stated, "Fans play a vital role in setting the atmosphere for the home side, we have seen how the hostile nature by Chelsea fans have affected their side's performance this season. So if the Celtic fans are behind their side in full voice just like the memorable win over Barcelona, Celtic can be in for another memorable European night"

23:17 IST


So where else to begin from, but the Celtic versus Juventus tie? Celtic Park has been like a fortress for the home side, with the team pulling off some exceptional results. However in the build-up to the clash, Juve's Gianluigi Buffon, disregarded the contributions of the fans stating that they never score a goal!

So what do you think of the issue? The views of Goal.com's panel members set to follow...